This is an interesting blog from one of our vendors that we want to share with you. We are experiencing a collective exhale after months of winter storms that brought subzero temperatures, continuous wind gusts, freezing rain and – to say the least—piles of snow. As temperatures start to warm, we are left with plants that have been damaged by wind, ice, salt and the frigid polar vortex. This past winter will be remembered as an unusually harsh one, and landscapes are starting to tell the story.

Lawns, trees and shrubs take a beating from season to season, from salt damage, insects, rodents and birds, family pets, weeds and thatch. Especially after winters like we’ve had, ice and snow cover—and also snow molds—can lead to matting of the turf, while evergreens and late flowering summer shrubs experience winter drought stress that causes winter burn.

  • Once your plants are burnt, you will have to wait and see if they will recover. There is not a lot you can do after the fact.

According to Dr. Sharon Douglas, plant pathologist at the Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, these methods and preventive measures can help ensure the health of lawns, trees and shrubs from winter injury:

  1. Select the appropriate site for planting and maintain optimum growth by using proper growing practices.
  2. Have sufficient moisture in the root zone before the soil freezes—this can be accomplished by giving the shrubs a deep watering before the ground freezes in the fall; mulching also helps to increase moisture retention in the winter.
  3. Prune and remove any dead twigs or branches which can serve as sites for secondary invaders or opportunistic pests.
  4. Provide physical protection from water loss and drying winds- this is especially important for new transplants or plants in exposed locations; burlap wraps and sprays of anti-transpirant can be used.