Cutbacks on ornamentals??

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Florida Gardener, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Melvern

    You bring up an excellent point

    Yes X mas of 1988 Miami had Frozen pipes. I know because My Sister in Law's house had exposed PVC pipe that I thawed out with her hair drier.

    Over the years we have had a few winter blasts. When I lived in Boca Grande we had a super warm winter (1994 or 95??) and everything flushed. The last week of Feb and first week of March we had 3 freezes a few days a part on a Tropical Island mimi climate. Needless to say it took two years to recover.

    My area has had 3 years running with Freezes. I personally lost struggling Mango trees in the second year of freezes. After 3 years in a row it is time to rethink more cold hardy plants. However the Market is still demanding Tropical Disneyland in my area.

    I am now semi retired but I did have a nursery blown away by Hurricane Charlie. Freeze protection started by moving tender vegetation into shady houses covered each winter with Visqueen. But I would run my sprinklers heavy all day long before the expected freeze. I would then turn them off at night fall and hope for the best. Water holds heat and the heavy water on the ground helped to keep my stock from freezing. I was luck and did not lose very much to freezes.

    As for your spotty freeze damage. The direction and speed of the wind is what cause that. If you look close you can see a Patten on which side of the house etc was up wind (little damage) or down wind (more damage). No wind will freeze or frost quicker.
     
  2. Melvern what is your company name??
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  3. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    The variation in damage is amazing. On one property, there is a cocoplum hedge that is fine on one side & the other side looks like someone took a blow torch to it. I think sprinklers going on may have exacerbated the damage, which I find kind of surprising since it barely got below freezing here.

    As for your spotty freeze damage. The direction and speed of the wind is what cause that. If you look close you can see a Patten on which side of the house etc was up wind (little damage) or down wind (more damage). No wind will freeze or frost quicker.


    Sometimes we don't have enough appreciation for the effects or influences of microclimates both good and bad.
     
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,447

    Holy crap. 40 degree temperature range to day from north to south. Next we'll have 3 Florida subforums.
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  5. Yea, we had 83 today and some nice summer err I mean winter rain
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  6. Plantculture

    Plantculture LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    What and why exactly is a cutback on an ornamental? And why is 1 time of year better than another?
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,447

    If you cut off frost damaged material and you get another frost you just removed the plants natural attempt to protect itself. If you continue to cutback after every freeze you will have nothing left come spring.
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  8. Plantculture

    Plantculture LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    Ahh got it, I didn't know if the OP was referring to butchering the landscape in the beginning of the summer which happens quite frequently in south FL.
    I'm starting to see quite abit of new growth on shrubs. Especially hibiscus. Thats my sign to start whatever selective pruning to shape the plants. I typically try not to remove a cold damaged palm leaf until the petiole turns brown, but thats not always possible.
     
  9. I have been pruning and shaping hibiscus this week along with copperleaf,etc. I'm only taking of fronds that are brown AND falling off. If it is brown and in place, it is going to stay on the palm until it falls or until March, whichever comes first. I really don't think we are going to get any more real cold weather. From next Tues onward, we have 76-79 highs and 58+ lows. Everything is getting fertilized next week. My healthy yards have already been lush and vibrant since 3 weeks ago. It will be crucial to fert the heavily cold damaged palms for the entire year to get them back to health and hope that we don't get so many freezes next winter. I have a property with 2 very mature coconuts that took all last year to look DECENT only to get hit again with freezes this winter. Hopefully they make it as they were treated with a copper fungicide.
     
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,447

    Glad I didn't get overzealous with cutbacks. Woke up to some frost this morning.
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