The winter of 1977/78 was a record breaker, and meteorologists tell us that we may well have to suffer through several more just like it. Last year’s cold caused widespread damage to farm and nursery crops, but the harm done to commercial agricultural operations is probably only the visible tip on an iceberg of destruction. It’s impossible to even estimate the damage that the bitter weather did to the countless garden and yard plants that surround private homes across the United States.
And why did a few people’s gardens and trees come through the long freeze with flying colors, while other houses were marked with dead saplings and denuded garden plots? The answer is simple: The “lucky” individuals gave their fruit trees, ornamentals, etc. proper preparation before the snow fell, and regular care once the white drifts covered the ground. You see, no group of plants-however “hardy”-is immune to winter damage. But if precautions are taken, even the more delicate species can survive a deadly cold snap. The smart gardener, then, will see to “winterizing” plants during the late autumn or early winter. The results of such an intervention will be evident the following spring.
Winter damage can be a serious problem for evergreen plants in windy, or south/southwest facing locations. It can manifest itself in several different ways. Damage will usually appear as wilting, browning or bleaching on the leaves.
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