In YOUR Backyard: SOS Save Our Shrubs (and Trees)

Mar 01, 2023 at 10:51 am by RMGadmin

Helping Your Yard Recover, Survive & THRIVE After This Harsh Winter

With Davey Tree Expert Company
December’s flash freezing and quick-moving cold fronts took a heavy toll on Williamson County’s trees and shrubs. “It’s important to understand what happened, why it impacted our trees and shrubs the way that it did, and the best steps to take as spring approaches,” tells Rob Kraker, Certified Arborist and District Manager with the Davey Tree Expert Company.
Why did this winter’s weather cause such severe damage?
When temperatures dip very low, a tree’s cambium tissue — the layer beneath the bark — may suffer.  If the tree is otherwise healthy, any cracks in the bark should seal themselves. However, if they don’t, the wound can worsen and become an entry point for diseases and pests. As your plants recover, keep them well watered.
What are some signs of frost damage on your trees and shrubs?
The sharp, dramatic drop in temperature over the holidays, as well as below-twenty-degree weather for days on end, was extremely hard on local trees and shrubs. You may notice that the evergreen trees and shrubs in your yard have lost foliage. Their leaves may look brown or burned, and trunks may have split.
What should you do if your plants have shown signs of winter damage?
Many shrubs that are usually green all year such as nandina, holly and laurel, now have brown leaves. The name of the game with those plants is waiting – their buds may have survived the cold and may produce healthy new foliage this spring, so don’t prune the brown foliage just yet. Additionally, the damaged leaves can still provide protection to the plant for any freezing nights still ahead.  Keep your trees and shrubs hydrated moving into the spring, adding mulch as needed to help keep them moist. Finally, fertilize with a deep root fertilizer like Arbor Green Pro in the spring. As your tree works to develop response growth, a good fertilizer aids in providing much-needed nutrients. If your tree is showing signs of major damage such as a cracked trunk or dangling branches, call an arborist to evaluate the tree and help you safely remove it if needed.
After any major storm or freeze, make it a priority to check the trees in your landscape. Keeping trees healthy, pruned and structurally secure helps minimize accidents all year long. And remember: if you are ever in doubt, your local arborist can help identify problems, support your trees and keep them looking their best all year long.
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