Pruning after Frost Damage

has occurred

 

    Star-Tip 1045

Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens

 

The cold winter has passed, and as you look over your landscape or garden, with every new day you see a little more damage. What should you do?

 

Wait

Spring Maintenance Pruning

Summer Help for Winter Damage

 

 

Wait

Wait until all danger of frost has passed. By this time your damaged plants will have died back on top, with green growth below (as seen in the photo below). Then give the plants a maintenance prune, simply removing the dead wood.

 

Spring Maintenance Pruning

Step 1                       Step 2                       Cross-view                   Step 3

(top)

 

In Step 1, you can visually see where the plant has died back. When pruning, don't prune back to living tissue (Step 2). Plants pump toxic chemicals to the site of the damage as protection against fungal and bacterial attack. If you prune back too far, you will interfere with the plant's natural defense mechanism. You can see in the Cross-view that the cambium just beneath the bark is brown, not green. This confirms dead tissue.

 

After that gentle pruning (Step 3), deeply water and fertilize your plants. Use Dr Q’s® Plant Tonic and a gentle fertilizer like Gold Dust® will help the plant regain it’s health without stimulating too much growth.  (top)

 

 

Summer Help for Winter Damage

Summer is coming, and its heat will once again stress these plants. They need your help. Make sure the irrigation system is working right, and that each plant has enough drips to help the roots spread out. A small root system can not help a thirsty plant in the extreme heat of summer.

 

In 2-3 months after they have recovered, tidy them up with another light prune. Be careful about exposing new growth to full afternoon summer sun. If the damaged plant faces afternoon sun wait to do the “grooming” until late September.  (top)

 

 

 

© 2009, Star Nursery, Inc.                    Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com