Winter Burn

After the long winter we’ve already almost forgotten, damage to our trees and shrubs is to be expected. Most of our landscapes have a similar “tanned” look right now as evergreens are still recovering from the harsh winter.

3 reasons for winter damage:

  • Wind Desiccation – moisture loss due to transpiration
  • Leaf Scorch – sun burn from reflective snow
  • Salt Damage – ice melt products like salt cause chemical damage

3 responses to winter damage:

  • Prune – Patience is key here, do not prune away anything that looks dead until after the first flush of growth (when new leaves first emerge). This occurs anywhere from mid-May to mid-June, depending on the plant. At this point you will be able to tell what is not going to come back at all and prune or remove as necessary.
  • Anti-desiccant Treatments – in early Winter to protect from excess desiccation which leads to burning.
  • Organic Fertilizing in Fall – to replenish lost energy reserves used to push out new growth. This will help plants to “catch their breath”.
    Although it may appear that some of your plants are dead, it is more likely they are actually alive and will bounce back.

We’ve observed a lot more winter burn than usual this year. These plants seem especially vulnerable to winter burn:

  • Skip laurel
  • Cherry laurel
  • Holly
  • Rhododendron
  • Azalea
  • Andromeda
  • Leucothoe
  • Skimmia
  • Boxwood
  • various needle evergreens (pines, junipers, cypress)
  • Leyland cypress
  • Yews
  • Arborvitae

Contact us today for a free consultation with a NOFA-accredited certified arborist.

upc-admin-usherWinter Burn