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Frost Damaged Trees

We recently suffered a severe hard freeze after our trees had already leafed out! Will the trees recover on their own, or is there something I can do to help? The leaves are brown and shriveled on all my small ornamental trees and most all shrubs. Please HELP!!!

The first few spring-like days of the year always get me excited. I eagerly anticipate the first blooms of the season
peeking out to brighten the drab winter landscape. But as I gear up for the coming gardening season, I have learned to keep a watchful eye on the weather. In order to clean out the old and bring in the new season, the weather can make some dramatic changes in a very short period of time and so it is a good idea to be prepared.

If your garden is subjected to some unseasonably warm temperatures that have caused some early blooming or leafing
out of your landscape plants and then freezing weather is predicted, you need to jump into action. It’s time to break out the frost blankets, add a couple inches of mulch, move container plants to a garage or enclosed area and make sure everything that needs water is well hydrated several hours before freezing temperatures occur.

Even with all these precautions, there will be times when the frost will still damage the plants.

If you see shriveling, browning or blackening in the leaves or stems of your plants, that is a sign of damage from freezing. There is very little that you can do now except wait as recovery has more to do with the plant and how it
handles the extent of the damage. Healthy trees and shrubs should produce additional growth within a few weeks. For
perennials, as long as roots and crown were not harmed, they will also show signs of new growth in a few weeks. You can check for pliable branches, but wait at least 1 or 2 months after the plant should have come out of dormancy before making a determination whether the roots are dead and you remove it. Pruning will not revive a damaged plant.

The plant will repair itself so wait until new growth appears, and that will guide you where to prune. At that time trim away dead and damaged branches, and to enhance the natural look of the plant.