Winter weather extremes can be difficult for plants, wildlife and humans. Landscape plants can incur extensive damage and require appropriate care preceding, during and following an intense winter season. Damage from wildlife, browning and desiccation are the most common issues afflicting plants and trees due to winter weather.
Deep snow cover in place for an extended period of time poses foraging issues for wildlife during winter. When rabbits and deer are denied easy access to food on the ground they must turn to unprotected trees and shrubs on residential landscapes, home orchards and gardens. They have been known to gnaw off bark from young, thin-barked deciduous trees, preferring crabapples, apples, serviceberries, plums, cherries, willows and honeylocust. In some cases bark has been completely stripped off effectively girdling them. Deciduous shrubs are also at risk from wildlife foraging damage, winged euonymus, sumacs, dogwoods, cotoneasters, viburnums, roses, and spireas are desirable specimens, although other species are not immune. Evergreen species endure damage as well, some pine species, Arborvitae and others have their crowns nibbled, if accessible, twigs or branches may be snapped off and bark stripped.
Browning or desiccation of broad-leaved evergreens and needled plants can be caused by weather extremes such as damaging winds, drastic temperature fluctuations and/or weak winter sun. Frozen soils and dry conditions contribute to winter damage. Desiccation can usually be observed during winter months, while browning or “winter burn” may not show up until the spring. Browning on evergreen foliage can be seen on pines, yews, arborvitae, firs and spruces. Damage may be most evident on the south and west sides of trees and shrubs. Brown needles may eventually fall off, however, buds may still be viable and can break in the spring producing new growth. By June or July, with proper care, plants may no longer show any signs of winter damage.
There are many options for preparing your landscape plants to endure harsh winter weather conditions which include keeping plants free from disease and pests, properly watered and fertilized and appropriate pruning. Winter treatments are also available should your plants require further intervention to assist them in surviving the season. And, of course, a properly established and timed plant healthcare regimen customized for your property and plants’ needs will help your landscape recover come spring. To ensure that your landscape is receiving adequate winter preparation and seasonal care contact your arborist now for a consultation and visit:http://www.savatree.com/tree-service.html.