Let’s Celebrate The Barbecue!
May 15, 2014
So Many Trees So Little Time
June 12, 2014
Have you noticed there are still some trees and shrubs out there that are not blooming, or that have very little coverage on them? Heck, going for a bike ride with my daughter around the neighborhood and I'm seeing a few azaleas that look absolutely beautiful, lots of big lush hydrangeas, and some rhododendrons in bloom. Then I get back home and get mad at my plants for not being as awesome as the neighbors...get it together plants!
But it's not the plants fault, they were hybridized to be put in conditions that are not 100% native to their original cultivar. For example, most rhododendrons species originated in Southeast Asia, and the Michigan climate is not exactly the same. Even though the climate here may not be the same as the native climate, some species can still survive. But wouldn't it be easier to just have plants that already thrive in Michigan conditions? Of course it would but that's not always what you want. And I get it, trust me, I want my garden to look like the above photo but that's just not gonna happen! So, since you may not want all native trees, shrubs, or perennials in your landscape, there is one step you can take to try and save your beloved plants.

Can Anything Be Done?

Most of the time, pruning out the dead or damaged plant material is the first and best course of action. This is especially true when you can plainly see die back. However, be careful here, some shoots that look dead could still be alive, but just delayed. You can preform a "scratch test" to look for green tissue, this is the most reliable way to determine if the shoots are alive or dead. Pruning isn't difficult, but always remember to cut back to a live bud or branch union. If the problems are severe and the plants cannot be saved, it's time to replace.
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