Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Winter burn

This year my cedars suffered a major case of winter burn. Our winter was particularly mild and we were so thankful that we did not have the vicious winter from the previous year. BUT this year my plants paid for the nicer weather. Last year, only one tree had winter burn...this year, almost all of them did...at least my cedars did. The combo of freezing air and soil temperatures along with a hot sun spelled doom and gloom for my cedars. Apparently, on cold sunny days, the needles warm up in the sun and become active. They lose the moisture they have to a process called transpiration. During summer time, the roots would kick in and replenish this lost moisture, but during the winter the roots are frozen and dormant and unable to replenish this precious moisture. The needles and fine cedar branches dry out and turn brown. The sun then goes down and the water inside the now active needles freezes causing cellular damage. As I've researched, apparently, the plants on the South side are more susceptible.  But my cedars on the North side of the house were just as badly damaged. I'm just going to chalk it up to the weird winter. Even though the brown needles and tender branches will not recover, I'm going to wait until early Summer to see if the buds on the branch survived. This is where the new growth will appear. 
This particular cedar sustained severe damage last year, there was hardly any green to it at all last summer. But it recovered and is a beautiful green this year. It grows on the south side of my house. Go figure...

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