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Arborvitae Winterkill

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There seemed to be quite a bit of winterkill on some of the evergreen shrubbery.
    This winter wasn't much different than last winter, so I was wondering if too much Nitrogen in the fall hindered the hardening off process.
    I had heard of that before, but don't know if it is myth or real.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    I haven't heard of that one.

    I tend to see more winterburn during milder winters as it seams plants haven't hardened off very well & then are hit with one blast of frigid wind.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Thanks Barry,
    I will consider it an urban legend for now. Plants should generally be able to take in only what they need when they need it. Especially when preparing for winter.

    They used to say in this region that arborvitaes can grow here if protected, and these guys are right out in the open so if the dessicating winds did blow during a midwinter thaw - they would be sure to get it. We did lose our ground cover in Feb. for a while too.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Maybe not so much myth. New growth just prior to winter is more susceptible to freeze damage.
  5. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Couldnt the winter kill maybe be caused by dry soil conditions? I thought that the winter burn could be caused by the water transpiring from the leaf tips and not enough water being sucked into the roots.
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    Good point.
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    That's in line with theory of frozen ground not providing water to the roots. I'm sure it comes into play, but I've seen more damage in exposed areas than sheltered areas with the same soil conditions, so I think wind is more of a factor.
  8. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I have always learned that a dry windy winter is always worse than a snowy winter just because of no H2O and that the moving air would probably increase transpiration.

    And yes I agree too that the new growth would def be more vulnerable to cold conditions.

    (correct me if I'm wrong) Shrubbery, along with other plants generally push more root growth during the cold parts of the season and less topical/ foliar growth. Does N always just grow foliage and flowers or can it be stored in the plant for later use and/or be used for other processes?

    Maybe they were trimmed late or got wet too much or too long on the foliage and frozen for a while or something.<-- just some other ideas.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009

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