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Don’t Get Burned by Winter Burn

Winter Burn damage on Azalea

Winter burn sounds like an evil character from a 90’s arcade game, but this villain can cost you a lot more than a fistful of quarters. When temperatures plummet, Winter Burn can infiltrate your shrubs and trees. How it causes so much damage requires a little bit of explaining so you can gain a true knowledge of what it is, and what it means for you.
It all starts with a blast of cold winter air that freezes the water in the soil. This prevents your plants from soaking in any water for an extended period of time during the cold months. At the same time, the sun keeps shining down on your plants which helps keep them warm above the soil, but at the cost of evaporating water from the leaves. Since the soil is frozen, your plant has no way of replenishing the water that’s being evaporated, leading to the affected areas becoming discolored or dying. In fact, if your shrubs or trees take on a really bad case of Winter Burn, it can kill it entirely, forcing you to dig it out and replace it, which can be an expensive and laborious feat. Typically Winter Burn can become extremely aggressive when the ground freezes at a rapid rate while your plants still have not had time to acclimate to the winter weather, but it can present itself any time during the winter especially with plants on any sunny areas on your property.
So, let’s talk prevention and what you can do to save your shrubs and trees this winter. The easiest solution to Winter Burn is simply taking steps to prevent the problem in the first place. One of the best ways to stop this menace from causing you headaches and an unsightly yard in the spring is to get a Winter Protectant Spray that helps to seal-in the moisture that would otherwise be lost to the sun’s warm rays. Holly, Rhododendron, Azalea, and more are all extremely popular additions to flowerbeds in this area, but cost thousands of dollars in damage and replacement every year due to Winter Burn issues. If you want to know if your plants are susceptible, give us a call and schedule your free consultation now.
But let’s say you do become one of the unfortunate people who have to deal with the aftermath of Winter Burn. Chances are you’re going to be dealing with a lot of brown spots and maybe a dead plant here or there. Obviously getting rid of the dead plants is job number one. But the real trick is dealing with affected plants with a few dead branches that are otherwise still alive in order to save them. Dead leaves or branches on shrubs are like an all you can eat buffet for insects and disease. One whiff of it, and your shrubs and trees can be covered in a mess of creepy critters. But once they’re attracted to the plant, they won’t just eat the dead branches. They will continue on to the rest of your shrub which can lead to its demise. After trimming any dead patches, getting your shrubbery sprayed for any unwanted insects can not only get rid of unwanted pests, but can help your plant rebound to its former glory.
Mild weathered shrubs or trees are highly susceptible to Winter Burn, so it’s vital to keep them protected if we’re due to experience a frigid winter like the one we’re entering into now. Prevention is key to maintaining a beautiful yard and possibly saving you thousands in the long run. Call Giroud today and get your free consultation to see if any of your plants may need treatment.

Author: Cindy Giroud

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