Winter Plant Damage and How to Prevent it

Winter Plant Damage and How to Prevent it

Parts of the northeast all saw their first snowfall of the season last week. Winter is coming for all residents of the northeast whether we like it or not. Some plantings and greenery can be more sensitive to harsh winter conditions than others and that is why we are going to talk about winter plant damage and how to prevent it this week. If you need any assistance in finding the right items to combat winter plant damage, please stop by any of our northeast locations.

Winter Plant Damage and How to Prevent it

Winter Burn
Winter Burn usually appears when plants start to break their dormancy. The types of greenery that are affected are often evergreens such as yew, holly, boxwood, and rhododendron. You can identify winter burn because the leaves will begin to brown at the tips and will eventually work their way towards the back. It can affect all evergreens, but it is most common in transplanted greenery because the roots have not become established yet. Winter Burn can be caused by many factors. Because evergreens are still physiologically active in winter, they still require water and if they don’t get enough, the water leaves the plant faster than it is taken up. Roots cannot pick up water from frozen winter soil. Wind can also contribute to Winter Burn as well as warm and freezing cycles.

Preventing Winter Burn
To keep Winter Burn at bay, don’t prune too early or aggressively. When you plant new evergreens, you’ll want to mulch them and water them until the ground freezes or when the first big snowstorm hits. Another way to prevent winter burn is to loosely wrap the transplanted trees with burlap. If you wrap the burlap too tightly, it can encourage disease to grow.

Avoiding Lawn Related Animal Damage in the winter
Deer are often the culprit for a lot of winter plant damage. This is because they lack upper teeth, so they have to bite and twist branches to feed on them. This leads to the branches getting frayed on the ends which can lead to disease. Consider using a repellent such as DeerPro which you can find at all our store locations.
Smaller animals such as rabbits and squirrels can also cause winter damage. Rabbits tend to gnaw at the base of shrubs and trees which can lead to disease and frost damage. Another small creature that can do a number on turfgrass in the winter is voles. They burrow just under the snow and eat the turfgrass roots. Voles leave tunnels are dirt on the surface of the lawn when the snow melts. The best way to keep voles at bay is to trap them and select plants that are less appealing for the vole to eat.

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