Masterpiece Landscaping Blog

June 29, 2009

Back on track

Filed under: Updates — josh @ 8:29 pm

We just wanted you all to know we are finally back on schedule and the weather looks great!

June 26, 2009

Winter Burn and the 2008-09 Winter

Filed under: Plant health — josh @ 10:23 pm

I have lived at my present property for 35 years.  Until the winter of 2007-08 none of the evergreens on my property suffered from the dreaded winter burn on evergreens.

Evergreens most susceptible to this malady are yews, certain junipers, and arborvitae.  Symptoms show damaged foliage on the south and/or southwest side of the plant above the snow line.  In some cases nearly the entire plant is browned out.

The cause is usually blamed on the sun and snow, ie,  as the sunlight in February and March becomes more direct, the foliage on the south-southwest exposure warms up on a very sunny, very still day,  activating exposed tissue even though the outdoor temperature might be zero degrees.  When the sun sets or disappears behind some structure, the activated cells are destroyed as the temperature drops below freezing.

There is a debate whether watering these susceptible evergreens well into November in our Minnesota climate adds to the problem due to the fact the plant does not “harden off” ( sufficiently adapted) to the tortures of Minesota winters.  Others believe the lack of continued autumn watering makes yews and arborvitaes more likely to winter burn.

This past winter was exceptionally damaging to many, many evergreens.  I lost five mature yews, one a 20 foor tree and the rest 30 year olds of significant girth and my grounds are quite shaded by mature deciduous trees.  All but one might have recovered, but it would have taken years before the extensive damage  would have been  masked.  Many large Mint Julep junipers were also severely damaged.   This spring  newly planted hemlocks looked pathetic whereever they were planted.

I also had invested heavily in purchasing my first hindu-pan stylized pruned Scots Pine.  Josh Perlich of the company installed a beautiful slate arrangement to feature the hindu-pan sculpture in a very private “closet”  setting along a main garden path.

To remind all who love garden settings, Nature has its own designs regarding the life span of living things.  To add more injury to this once lovely hindu pan Scot’s pine setting, a 30 year old yew commanding the privacy, died from winter injury ruining the entire picture.

Although this past winter would measure high for normal winter burn, there must have been another factor in action.  I, as well as several of our clients, believe the winter was a windy one, especially when in January or February there were below zero temperatures over a weekend with winds over 20 mph.

For those of you new to landscape gardening, you may come to enjoy your grounds more by recording certain seasonal peculiarities of weather, or times of blooming or leaf fall to help you take steps to keep your plantings happier and more beautiful in the future.   glenn h ray

June 17, 2009

Scheduling Dilemma

Filed under: Updates — josh @ 10:19 am

Weather and expanding projects have caused us to postpone prior commitments.  We are doing all we can to keep you all happy, and we appreciate your patience.