Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lessons learned from Snowmageddon

The first weekend of spring was spent cleaning up all of the damage from the winter. In Maryland, we are not used to so much snow, and obviously, neither are our plants. We had a lot of damage on our white pines, and I am still waiting to see if our hollies will come back. The picture below shows what used to be 4 foot tall hollies, smashed by tons of snow that was piled on them.

Surprisingly, they are starting to bounce back. They might just pull through.

On the other hand, a beautiful smoke tree in the front of our house sustained significant damage. The tree was dreadfully overgrown, but we had never gotten around to pruning it. I am convinced that if we had kept it pruned, it would not have sustained as much damage. If the tree had been properly thinned, it would not have been so weighted down by the snow, and fewer limbs would have broken. Now, with the broken limbs removed, and some additional pruning to correct the shape, the tree is about a third of the size it was before. It is a bit sparse looking, but I hope it will fill in a little (but not too much!).

I am not very good at pruning because I always hate to cut off a limb that is growing - it just seems so cruel. Hopefully this experience will convince me that careful pruning is in the best interest not only of the garden, but also of the plant.

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