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Recovery from Winter Injury

This spring, many landscape plants can be expected to exhibit leaf browning, branch dieback, and in some cases death of the entire plant. This damage is related to cold weather, as well as brief warm periods followed by freezing temperatures. Total plant death might occur if roots were frozen, and trees with minor damage may later show symptoms of leaf or needle drop and branch dieback.

Plants expected to exhibit the greatest degree of damage include broadleaf evergreens such as cherry laurel, boxwood, gardenia, camellia, rhododendron, and holly (especially Nellie Stevens). The following are treatments to consider:

  • Do not immediately remove plants that are exhibiting branch dieback and decline as they may re-sprout from interior portions of the crown
  • Pruning dead branches to healthy tissue should be undertaken as plants resume growth
  • Monitor soil moisture near affected plants, irrigate as needed, and ensure the root zone is properly mulched.

Prompt treatment addressing all aspects of plant health care will help plants recover from winter injury. Contact your Bartlett Arborist Representative to learn more.

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