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Ice Damage on our plants

Ice dam
Ice dam
Teri Knight

A winter for the record books. Yeah, us! If it's going to be ridiculously cold then I think we SHOULD break records. It makes it all worth it, right? Okay, maybe not.

Ice on Burning Bush
Teri Knight

As I tooled around the neighborhood it was obvious that my house wasn’t the only one with plenty of ice dripping off the roof, creating dams and nasty issues for our more delicate shrubs. Luckily the warm temperatures have melted a lot of that ice. My plan was to warn you not to knock ice off of your shrubs and trees, the branches can be brittle and knocking off the ice could further damage your plants. I have pictures of my own issues on GardenBite. Pre-melting.

I didn’t have any damage but some of you may have. You’ll need to prune out any broken branches. Don't be afraid, you can prune out dead or diseased branches at any time. Check my website for more pruning specifics. On spring flowering shrubs in particular, prune ONLY dead or diseased branches.

With the melt, you may discover perennials with mushy leaves, get rid of that stuff. Hostas and heucheras can have some slimy foliage that might possibly harbor disease. So can other herbaceous plants. I'm taking note of my Creeping Jenny. If you have woody perennials, you can also trim out broken twigs.

We have a branch over the garage that broke off a couple of years ago. It really needs to come down but it’s not something I want to do personally. Any job that makes you think twice about climbing a ladder to do, give another think or three and call an expert. No point in getting hurt or damaging your buildings!

In regard to your lawn, if you have areas of standing water, grass can withstand it for several days and if the water is cold, less than 60 degrees, as it usually is in early spring, lawn grasses can withstand being submerged for even longer periods of time. Moving water is usually less harmful to lawn grasses than is ponded, stagnant water. Spring flooded lawn areas where the water has risen and then receded rapidly often escape serious permanent injury and death. Check out GardenBite for more information and also check out my facebook page Garden Bite with Teri Knight. You can hear my radio show Monday through Friday on radio stations throughout Minnesota, visit my website for affiliates. You can also hear Garden Bite on Empower Radio.

Teri is the News Director for KYMN radio in Northfield, MN.