Winter Damage

People often ask me if something is worth saving when it is “not looking too good.” So I thought the definitions and overviews below may be helpful as you examine your plants.

Frost cracks are due to temperature changes that occur when there is daytime warming, or strong sun and reflection from snow and then nights are still cold. The swings in temperature cause the wood and bark to crack. Keep an eye on these areas as the could be an entryway for pests and diseases.

Desiccation causes browning of leaves or needles on broadleaf evergreens. The plant has been dried out by wind and low temperatures. Salt damage can also look like the same.

Smashed! This is a non technical term that describes what I have observed most this spring, as the snow recedes. Shrubs are split all the way to the base of the plant and or a large percentage of the bark is scraped off.

In some the cases, you may want to wait to see how or if the shrub leafs out, but if the structure has been so impacted it may never be a pleasing site again remember, "Compost is a noble end".


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