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Groundhog Day has now past and according to Punxsutawney Phil, we are still looking at another six weeks of winter worries. Just as the weather is unpredictable in Northeast Ohio, so too are the effects of such weather. In preparing this latest post, it is currently 56 degrees outside with thunderstorms. However, we all know Northeast Ohio is known for its “teaser” days, as there is snow in the near forecast. So what’s the worry? What damage could a little cold weather and snow bring? Here is a list of the top five damaging effects on your landscape through the winter and how the professional team at Brian-Kyles can help.

Winter Desiccation

This is damage that is historically caused when the tissue of plants dry out from wind, a lack of overall moisture in the air, or simply “wrong plant, wrong location” type of scenario. Evergreens such as boxwood, juniper, and taxus are especially susceptible to such damage. Damaged foliage will fall or be pushed off by new growth in spring. By adding a deep root feeding after the ground thaws, this process can expedite new growth and rejuvenation.

Snow Mold

Seen in turf areas, this is a fungus that attacks the lawn as the snow melts, leaving pink or brown patches throughout. Most times this can be damaging enough to necessitate a top dressing of seed after raking out the dead grass. If the damage is less significant, some basic measures can be made throughout the season to reduce the risk of such damaging effects. This can be accomplished by aeration, dethatching and fertilization services. Additionally, proper mowing techniques can also reduce these risks prior to winter’s arrival.

Snow, ice, and wind damage

Heavy snow and ice, mixed with high winds can cause damage by breaking off branches of plants. Again, the multi-stem evergreens are more prone to such damage and are often caused by years of improper, or lack of pruning. Pruning services, specifically a dormant pruning can help by proactively reducing the risk of such damage by correctively pruning out dead, rubbing, or cross branching out of the plants. During the growing season, a deep root feeding can also help build stronger branches to reduce this risk.

Sun scald

This is caused when temperatures are higher during the winter period and the sun heats up the bark of a plant enough for it to break dormancy. Thus causing the tree to actively enter a growing stage. Once the weather rapidly turns cold again, it causes the water-filled membrane to crack (similar to ice cracking on the lake). Most times a plant can heal itself, but again, a deep root feeding can expedite this process and help the wound scab over (like a cut on your finger) prior to the onslaught of another bout of damaging weather.

Frost heave

This is caused when shallow rooted plants see rapid periods of freezing and thawing causing them to be uprooted. Curative measures are to perform a deep root feeding followed by proper irrigation measures to promote deeper root growth. Additionally, a good layer of mulch added around the plants will help create a buffer between the root system and the weather elements.

Do you worry about the damage effects that winter can have on your landscape investment? If so, there is no need, contact the team at Brian-Kyles today to guide you to viable solutions to your problems and/or concerns.

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