How do I Fix Winter Damage to My Landscaping?

It certainly has been a rough winter with the extreme cold and snow. Now that the snow and ice has melted, it reveals how much of a beating our lawns, gardens, shrubs and trees have taken. There are solutions to fix winter damage.

Trees and Shrubs


Trees and Shrubs




There are several causes of tree and shrub damage:

  • Wind Desiccation
  • Leaf scorch/reflective damage
  • Salt Damage
  • Temperature Fluctuation & Low Temperatures
  • Frost Cracks
  • Sun Scald
  • Winterburn on Evergreens
  • Spring Freezes
  • Root Damage
  • Snow and Ice Breakage
  • Girdling by Animals

Although trees and shrubs may look dead, it is wise to wait until mid-May and into June. That is when new growth occurs and shows where damage has been done and where it should be pruned.
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Damage to lawns can be from various causes:

  • Salt from roads as well as the salt thrown on driveways and pathways
  • Exposure to extreme cold

This grass will not likely regrow. The solution is reseeding the lawn. Hand rake out the areas to be rid of the debris and loosen the soil enough that there is good seed to soil contact. Select a good quality seed appropriate to the area – direct sun, shaded, etc. Choose a starter fertilizer that is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorous to help grow stronger roots.
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Salt damage can appear to make plants look dead. Most people would assume they need to be removed and replaced. But that may not be necessary.

Look for new growth from mid-May to June. Salt can also drain into root systems of plants and cause damage to root hairs. You can hose down your plants and soak the soil thoroughly to dilute salt build-up from winter.

Of course, the best way to minimize winter damage is to take the necessary steps in early Fall when preparing your lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs for the coming winter.  If you have any further tips you’d like to share, please make a comment!


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