How do we come back from an ice storm? Believe me when I tell you that we are just sick over all the beautiful trees and plants that were lost and damaged.

Here are some answers to questions you might be asking. Provided to you by Jack (Al’s son and second-generation owner) My grandparents yard is one of my favorite places and it is so sad that it will never look the same or at least it will not for a long time.

Grandpa Jack’s fence line, they lost a lot of pretty trees.

Did the ice hurt my plants?

The good news is that the cold weather most likely did not hurt your plant. It did not get cold enough to do damage. Usually if it hits around 5 degrees is when you start to worry. But the weight of the ice may have because the breaking of branches is where the damage is.

Don’t worry this tree will be okay with a few stakes

Where do I start Pruning and how do I do it?

Grandpa Jack thought this was a hard question to answer. It is hard to give advice unless you see the plant but here are a few key tips to do. It really depends on what is broken but it is important that all the “open wounds” are clean so that means no jagged edges or peeling.

To prune after you have lost branches you really want to make sure that the weight of the tree is evenly distributed. If you lost a quarter on one side of the tree or bush even it out on the other and really shape the tree so it looks even.

You may forgo fruit or blooms for one year, but Grandpa Jack said if you are really on the fence about taking it out and starting over, leave it in for a year and see how it shapes up. Plants are very resilient.

What happens if I lost a branch on a young tree? Should I replace it?

Young plants are resilient. Usually, you can shape up a tree and it will re-grow especially if it is young. If it is tilted to the side, you can stake it up and provide support but if it split in half on the trunk you will have to cut your losses.

When do I decide to cut my losses and replant?

If it has split down the middle of the tree and into the main trunk you probably are going to lose that tree or bush. Grandpa Jack said that he had to cut back some dogwoods severely because he wanted to save those but others, he had to take all the way to the ground. Seeing their beautiful yard after this winter weather is truly heart breaking.

Redbud tree split down the middle, we will have to take it out.

How do I plan for the best plant to replace it with (might not be the same one, so it’s your chance to design/redesign your landscape depending on your damage)?

Replace it with something you like! Consider the size of the area to make sure it fits the spot.

Here are some other facts from Jack!

  • When you prune the tree back you are still going to have a lot of roots, cut back real hard don’t let it grow out of control. You will want to maintain it so that it doesn’t get uneven.
  • Mid-summer pruning does not hurt anything if you don’t prune too hard.
  • Make sure to really steer where the plants will grow and train them the way you want them to be trained.
  • Balance is key! Make sure you are training them in a way that is balanced.

For more tips on dealing with storm and winter damaged trees/plants head on into an Al’s near you to talk to one of our experts!