Winter Damage Worsens As Spring Temperatures Climb

By April 30, 2019Uncategorized

We’ve observed yet more damage to evergreen plants as the result of winter injury. As temperatures increase, even more dried up leaves are appearing on stressed plant material.

winter damage

Note the undamaged foliage at bottom of plants where snow insulated plant tissues

The stage was set last summer with record breaking heat and drought. Trees and shrubs were weakened from severe stress. Root systems died back, resulting in reduced water storage needed to keep these plants from freezing this past winter.

As unfortunate as disfigured plant material is, many will not be lost outright. Follow-up care is essential in helping plants recover from the winter injury. These are some ways we can help;

  • Soil fertility. Applications of bio-stimulants not only help to nourish plants directly, but they also help create a proliferation of beneficial microbial activity which helps resiliency during stress periods. Fish hydrolysate, humic acid and seaweed extracts are excellent products for this purpose.
  • Irrigation. While sufficient water is critical, too much can be just as damaging as not enough! Although watering is not required at this time, pay attention when things get hot and dry as the season progresses. You should never be able to squeeze water out of a handful of soil.
  • Pruning. Some obviously dead limbs in trees and shrubs are apparent right now, but it’s probably best to hold off pruning them until later in the spring. Our hope is that dormant buds will sprout along bare stems, giving us better choices where to make quality pruning cuts.  
  • Antidessicant applications. There are materials that can be applied in the late fall or early winter that can decrease a plants ability to loose water during the winter. ‘Transpiration’ is a plants way of evaporating water vapor during the winter so that plant tissues do not freeze.
  • Protection from wind. Vulnerable plants can be shielded from drying winds with burlap. This takes place just before the onset of winter and is removed in the early spring of the following season.

Please feel free to contact us so we can evaluate your landscape plants. There are plenty of things we can do to help and protect your valuable landscape plants!

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