The Latest

The Latest

Although the brutal winter of 2014 has not come to an end, there are already visible signs of the effects that this type of weather can have on plants.  You may never have heard of a term called "winter burn," but if you have evergreens on your property, particularly if they are in a location that is not shielded from the northwest winter wind and the winter sun, you are likely seeing winter burn.

Winters such as the one we are experiencing here in Central Virginia are particularly tough on evergreen plants.  It is the combination of frigid temperatures, harsh winds and winter sun, which play such havoc on these plants.  The combination of factors cause the leaves to lose moisture and since the plant is temporarily unable (when the ground is frozen, the plants' roots cannot absorb water) to replace this moisture, the leaves will dry out and turn brown.

This does not automatically mean that you are going to lose the plant.  What is needed is a little patience.  The chances are high that the branch itself is fine and will send out new growth in the spring.  With a little time and perhaps some nudging from the new growth, the dried out leaves will fall to the ground.  In some cases you may need to trim out the dried leaves.

Obviously there will be some plants that don't survive this type of winter but more than likely most will.  So be patient and hold off evaluation of the plants status until the new growth has a chance to come in.

Just in case:  As the tempertures begin to warm and your patience begins to wear thin with the look of the brown leaves, you could take a broom or rake and lightly (you want to be sure not to break any of the branches) brush over the leaves, coaxing them to release to the ground.