In our industry, plant material is manufactured to provide the most ideal conditions for plants to thrive and put on as much size as possible to get them to market with the best visual appeal and health for long term growth. Additional care post installation at some point will be beneficial to keep these plants thriving; i.e. mulching, pruning, fertilizing, etc. Landscape is dynamic and continues to change with our surrounding environment, and so do our tactics for care. Winter conditions have become increasingly harsher and pathogens become present. It is up to us as professionals to keep our clients up to date with those changes, and to come up with solutions to help maintain their investments. Water loss is the greatest threat to a plants health, and as the ground freezes plants are unable to pull moisture from the soil, and thus the leaves are sacrificed. Harsh winds can also have a profound effect drawing moisture away from the plant causing sunscald, windburn, and in extreme cases death.
Great Lakes Landscape Design partnered with Contenders Lawn Service, can provide our clients help to maintain these plants so that they can continue to thrive for years to come. We can provide wind break in extreme high conditions with burlap to help ease harsh winds, this will shade the plant during those sunny winter days that can encourage broadleaf evergreens, such as boxwood to photosynthesize while the soil is completely frozen which causes these plants to desiccate. As an additional level of service Contenders can apply a foliar spray called an antidesiccants that can help prevent this. Antidesiccants are a compound that when applied to a plants leaves can slow the process of moisture loss by creating a thin barrier over the pores and locking in the moisture. This compound can also help decrease the level of photosynthesis during sunny days when the soil is still completely frozen.
An evaluation of your plants health may be necessary, if your plants show any signs of struggling. As we move into another harsh winter the plant may not be able to recover from the season with an already depleted energy store from any pathogen that it may be infected with or any amount of stress that it could be experiencing.