Can I save snow-damaged plants and trees?

March 18, 2010|By Ellen Nibali | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Question:Snow has caused chaos in my yard. Some tree and shrub branches are broken, some branches are flat on the ground. Can these plants be saved?

Answer:Cut off badly broken branches. Prune back to a leaf bud or where the branch joins the next larger branch. If you must cut back to the trunk, do not leave a stub or cut flush with the trunk. Leave the branch collar (the raised area where it joins the trunk) where healing occurs best. Don't rush to judgment on flattened branches. Some will spring back eventually. Removing some heavy top growth may make this easier. You may also stake or tie branches into position temporarily. Some severely damaged shrubs can be cut almost to the ground in early spring and they will regrow. This renovation method works with, for example, boxwood, forsythia and viburnum. Call us or consult a text to determine whether or not your plants will respond to this treatment. If all else fails, this is the perfect opportunity to put in that new plant you always wanted.

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