Storm Damage

picture-3899 With the recent storms that have brought us a mixture of ice and heavy wet snow, many of us have had some damage to some of our most prized trees and shrubs. Several here have been bent right down to the ground with the top branches frozen into the snow and ice. Others have just had a branch or two bent over. When this happens, there is often a break or crack in the branches and or even in the main trunk. If the break is bad and all the way through so that that the piece is almost off, then maybe it is best to cut it off at the break. New growth should replace much of it in the next few seasons. If it is merely a crack and the bark is still connected on two sides, then it is possible to repair it. In the past, I have straightened the branch or small trunk to the point that the break is closed up and the bark is touching where the crack was formed. I then wrap it tightly picture-3901with duct tape to hold the sides together. After that, I add a splint strong and long enough to keep the branch or trunk from bending again. On trunks, it may be necessary to stake them as well. It is important to do this as soon as possible before the bark picture-3902dries out. The tape will eventually disintegrate and you will see the new growth push against and around it. We have saved several trees and shrubs this way, including a Stewartia and a Dogwood that are both now over fifteen feet tall (the pictures are actually of a damaged lilac).
It looks like next weeks forecast is calling for more ice and freezing rain, which could bring even more damage than we’ve already had this year.