It has been a long, COLD winter. Have you been wondering how to care for plants after freeze damage? We are seeing many more plants with cold damage and deer damage than in previous years. Between the severe cold which has nipped many plants and the lack of acorns for the wildlife to feed on this year the plants have been especially hard hit.
As far as what to do about those damaged plants, at this point you have to wait. Many plants are showing brown leaves and bare stems but it is hard to determine at this point how much damage has actually been done. Many times, branches and stems that appear dead will set buds and leaf out. If you prune what appears to be damaged now you may be removing more plant then is necessary.
You may see freeze cracks is some of your trees, particularly on the south side. This is due to sudden change in temperature which caused the tissue of the tree to expand and contract.
Additionally you will see where your soil has heaved. With the alternating warm and cold weather the ground freezes and thaws. As a result you will see uneven areas in your soil. The heaved areas are very soft and susceptible to erosion.
As we look forward to spring do not despair about the condition of your plants and soil. Be a little patient and you may find things and not quite as bad as it may first appear.