For many regions of the country, this has been a tough winter on shrubs. Numerous ice and snow storms have caused broken branches and limbs. Cold temperatures and drying winds have caused dieback on evergreen shrubs. And the use of road and walkway salts has caused root damage in plants.
Now that the weather is warming, it’s a good time to assess the damage and do some repairs. Here are some ideas to help your shrubs recover:
Broken Limbs: Take a look at broken and split branches to see the severity of the damage. If main branches are split or broken and their removal will deform the plant, you might consider some drastic pruning or even replacing the shrub. Many shrubs, such as lilacs, forsythia, and spirea, can be pruned almost to the ground and will recover. It may take a few years for them to flower again, but you can prune the shrub into the size and shape that look good in your yard. For smaller branches, prune them back to a side branch and remove other branches as needed to balance the shape of the shrub.