Menards Home Improvement Topics: "Managing Winter Damage!"

Posted at 2:09 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 10:35:48-04

The winter season brings plenty of joy and beauty, but it can also wreak havoc on your outdoor plants and landscaping. Some of this damage is unavoidable, depending on where you live, the snow, wind and frigid temperatures are bound to affect your plants. However, there are some tips and trick to help your plants avoid the hazards of winter.

After a heavy snowfall, you may notice branches falling off your trees or bending under the weight of the snow. If the snow is fluffy and easy to move, you may carefully brush the snow off the bending branches with a broom or other tool. Do not attempt to brush the weight off branches from an ice storm to avoide further damage. Try to avoid blowing or shoveling snow onto landscaping plants

Applying de-icing salt is an effective way to protect walkways and roads. But, be careful not to expose plants to salt as this will turn needles brown or damage the edges of leaves. Plants with salt damage should be watered thoroughly in spring.

Most common among young trees with thin bark is sunscald, the result of unseasonably warm winter temps followed by a return to freezing temps. As trees are dormant during the cold winter weather, a brief warm spell essentially causes them to wake up, causing their bark to rapidly expand and contract. Wrapping vulnerable trees with reflective white tree guards or burlap can help.

Hazardous winter weather conditions can cause evergreen trees to have brown patches of needles, the result of winter burn. Usually warm fall temperatures, drastic temperature drops and an inadequate root system can all contribute to winter burn. If the entire tree turns brown, the tree is not likely to recover, but pruning the affected areas in spring may help spring new buds and branches.

Typically as a result of late planting, repeated freezing and thawing temperatures may potentially damage or even kill some plants. To prevent frost heave, apply mulch to recently-planted perennial plants to prepare for a hard frost. Additionally, it’s best to avoid planting perennials after September as planting will not give the plants enough time to develop a strong root system before temperatures dip below freezing.

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