53February 16, 2011

The weather people promise us some warm weather for the later part of the week. Hopefully, the snow will melt slowly and the water will not drain into our basements.

If you can find the forsythia bushes in your yard, you can bring some spring into your home or business. You can cut off some branches from your forsythia and bring the branches inside. Place the branches in a vase of water and you will soon see the forsythia flowers come into bloom. You would be hard pressed to not smile when you see those bright yellow flowers, in bloom, in your home or office.

I have a lot of concern about the effect that this winter will have on our trees and shrubs. If you remember, we had a fair amount of cold weather before the snows came to our yards. The cold weather would have made many plants brittle. Rhododendrons, in particular, tend to get brittle in cold weather. As the snow fell, the plants were covered with snow. The shoveling of snow off of roofs, the dumping of snow by snow blowers and the pushing back of snow by snow plows can cause a tremendous force on shrubs that may be buried under snow in the vicinity of these snow removal operations. This force can break off brittle branches. As the snow melts, you may see a lot of damage to your shrubs from the necessary removal of snow. There really isn’t much we can do about any damaged that is buried under the snow. I guess all we can do is to cross our fingers and hope that the gardening gods are looking out for us.

As the snow melts, if you do see damage, it would be best to prune out any damage before it can cause additional harm to the plant. If the time comes and you are not sure what you should be doing, stop by the store so that we can help you make the right decision. As is so often the case, people will prune a plant that has been damaged and then stop by to ask if what they had done was the right thing to do. Sometimes they did the right thing but in some cases, people pruned much more than they needed to do.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’m off to a trade show to buy merchandise for Christmas 2011! It’s no wonder people in the gardening business don’t always know what time of the year it really is!

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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