Michigan winters can be harsh. Not only do we get several inches of snow, but we also experience bitter arctic blasts and the occasional ice storm. All of these elements can take their toll on your outdoor shrubs. Younger bushes are especially vulnerable, due to shallow root systems and young bark. With proper shrub care during the summer and fall months, you can help protect your landscaping from winter damage. Yet, many homeowners call ArborLawn in the spring, looking for help to fix the physical damage of winter. Here are the most common types of winter damage we see.

3 Types of Winter Shrub Damage

1. Broken Limbs

Some of the most obvious signs of winter damage include broken twigs and branches. Usually, this damage happens to smaller, weaker limbs that can’t withstand the weight of snow and ice. Any limbs that are nearly severed should be cut off completely. Cutting these away in the spring will allow the shrub to heal properly, protect itself from infection, and promote re-growth of that limb. 

2. Sunscald 

Sunscald happens when the sun’s rays reflect off the snow and onto the younger bushes’ tender bark and leaves. This damage appears as dark brown spots on the leaves and trunks. Sunscald is more common when the temperatures start to get warmer during the day, but plunge at night. Cells open up during the warmer hours but are shut down at night because of freezing temperatures, either damaging the cells or killing them altogether. 

3. Frost Cracks

Fluctuating freezing and thawing temperatures can lead to frost cracks in the bark of your shrubs. While a single crack in the bark isn’t cause for concern, you should be on the lookout for additional cracking. If your bushes start to lose their bark, then it’s time to further inspect the damage. While there’s not much you can do to fix the damage once it’s done, the best thing to do is remove the dead or dying bark, clean the crack, and allow your shrub to heal. Furthermore, employ the expertise of shrub and tree experts to ensure you don’t damage or harm your shrub more.

We’ll Take Care of Your Shrubs

At ArborLawn, we take the care of your shrubs seriously. With our modern and effective plant health treatments, you’ll have shrubs that are healthy, beautiful, and thriving year after year. We also take care of any trees on your property, ensuring they are healthy and well-maintained. You’ll notice better health, improved color, and more resistance to diseases or insects. In addition, we provide professional lawn care, grub treatment, and mole control services for your home in Lansing, MI, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today at (517) 882-1941.