If the recent snow and frigid temps have your landscape looking a bit sad, we have some tips for dealing with cold injured plants. The heavy snow and ice that we experienced in Raleigh may have resulted in broken limbs, or perhaps it’s even questionable whether some of your plants are still alive. This may have you itching to do some serious cleanup – the kind that involves pruning shears!
However, you don’t want to rush to prune the damaged or dead looking plants in your yard. It is better to wait until Spring when new growth appears to determine whether the plant is actually dead. At that time, you can prune branches and twigs that are broken and those that are obviously dead.
Frigid temperatures like we experienced recently can cause the water in the plant cells to freeze resulting in dehydration and tissue damage to plants. Watering the cold damaged plants may actually help to rehydrate them by replacing the water that was lost during the cold. However, you want to resist the urge to add fertilizer because this will only encourage new growth which can cause even more damage to the plant if we experience another freeze.
If you are curious or just want to be rid of the broken or dead-looking limbs before Spring, you can scrape some of the outer bark. If there is a green layer present underneath the bark then the plant is still alive. So you will want to give the plant a chance to survive. Waiting until Spring to assess the extent of damage will give the plant the best chance. Once new growth starts to appear, you can get a better idea if there are any limbs that need pruning.
If we can assist you with your landscape, please call us at 919-844-3441 or fill out the contact form below.