Due to the record setting cold spell we experienced in December and January, we are already seeing signs of significant winter injury in many evergreens. Though not uncommon in our region, we do expect to see a higher level of damage this year as a result of the extreme cold and temperature fluctuations. Resist the temptation to automatically remove affected plants, as many will grow out of the damage in a season or two. If in doubt, call our office and we’ll come out and have a look.
The effect of drought on our landscape plants continues to be an issue throughout the region. After a promising (and wet!) start to the 2017 growing season, rainfall dropped off again in August and September. Years of chronic moisture stress is definitely taking its toll, and most significantly, it opens the door for increased damage from secondary insects and disease. In the coming year, we will be focusing very intently on the best defense against chronic drought – soil improvement. “Turning up the tap” is simply not going to be a practical solution in a future of perennial water bans. We must improve the quality of our urban and suburban soils, and increase their capacity to retain water during drought periods. We have some ideas that we would love to share with you!
For more information on the effects of drought and what we recommend, click here.