Extreme cold weather protection tips:
To prepare for more extreme weather, stock up on a supply of plastic, burlap, canvas or old sheets that can be used to cover less cold-hardy shrubs and plants.
When heavy snowfall or icing is predicted, use this material to cover the plants, anchoring the cover around the base of the plant with stakes, rocks, bricks or logs so winter winds don’t blow it off.
• Remove the cover and shake off the snow or ice off once the threat has passed.
• Snow and ice can break limbs and twigs of more fragile multi-branched trees and shrubs.
• Give them a little help holding up under the weight by bundling the limbs together with string or twine.
It’s fine to gently shake snow from the limbs of trees and shrubs, but let ice melt on its own to avoid breakage.
The best form of winterizing is making sure the plants you choose for the landscape are able to withstand your winter weather.
As you buy new plants, pick ones that are suited for your growing zone and locate them in the proper spot.
Tender plants that can’t withstand lots of cold weather should be planted in protected areas or on the west and south sides of houses and other structures.
And if, despite all your efforts, winter seems to take a toll on your landscape plants, don’t panic. Many will rebound when spring arrives so be patient and give them time to recover before you give up on them.