While many shrubs go dormant for the winter, intense sun, shifting temperatures, dry, windy conditions, and low soil moisture could still take a toll. Specifically, evergreens suffer as they stay active during the season and frequently get cold damage.
Read on to get solutions to the question, “Can I protect my shrubs from winter weather damage?
Set the Scene Before the Cold Snap
The first step in safeguarding plants from winter damage is to irrigate before the first freeze correctly. While it is a great idea to hold back on water during the fall to let plants harden-off for winter, it is crucial for shrubs to go into winter with sufficient soil moisture. After a couple of fall frosts days, irrigate shrubs and apply a layer of mulch to control temperature and soil moisture.
Irrigate! Even in the Cold
Even if much of the landscape appear dormant, remember many shrubs are still using water. Watch the weather and be mindful of accrued precipitation every month. Broadleaf and needled evergreen shrubs need sporadic irrigation during the winter since they continue to lose water through transpiration, particularly during windy, dry periods when sunlight is strong.
When shrubs lose water quicker than the roots can replace it, the plant becomes dry. In severe cases, whole limbs can dry up and die. Consistent irrigation guarantees moisture is available during crucial times, mainly when soils are cold, and water is at a reduced amount.
Examine your shrubs for signs of dryness during the season. Broadleaf evergreens like rhododendron and camellia will have orange or yellow discoloration while evergreens will turn brown or rust.
Freezing Temperatures Are Here! Take Protective Measures
Despite your best efforts to pick climate-appropriate material for your gardens, unexpected weather will undoubtedly happen. When the weatherman warns of remarkably cold temps, take the time to protect your shrubs in your landscape and the rest of your home. Remember, they are an investment and add to the overall beauty and value of your home.
As mentioned earlier, watering shrubs several hours before a freeze is the best defense against damage. During a short cold snap, cover your shrubs with sheets, blankets, or burlap, sheets for insulation. For top protection, use a frame to stop the covering from contacting the bushes. Contact a tree specialist if you need assistance.
Buffalo Tree Service wants to help you in every aspect of tree care available. We are here to give you tips, tricks, and helpful hints to make sure that you give all the love you can to your trees!
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