Northern China has very harsh winters! I have seen puddles frozen over in October, and huge snow storms in March. That is a long and hard winter to me.
To protect their vegetation, the city takes many proactive steps. For the smaller plants a cover can be effective to keep the cold out. Believe me, not only is it cold, but the wind can cut right through you if you are not protected. As you can see in the picture below, this city is protecting their shrubs lining a very busy street. You can also see that the lower section of the trees are painted, this is to keep bugs out.
Even though it is very cold, normal life must continue, including driving to work and shopping. For people that use scooters, that can be horribly uncomfortable in the winter if the necessary steps are not taken. As you can see in the picture below, this scooter not only has protection for the hands, but also the body of the driver.
I don’t think the open air rickshaw business is very good this time of the year in northern China!