Evergreen winterkill

Due to the extremely hard winter we experienced this year, many of the evergreens in the gardens I tend to are suffering from winterkill.  This is evident by rust brown tips and occasionally whole branches.  To remove this winterkill, run your gloved hand over the affected branches so the dead needles fall off.  If a bare tip is exposed, snip it off.  If a whole branch is dead, remove it to the base of the plant or at least back to where it is still green.

Evergreen shrubs can be pruned or shaped this way as well, by removing whole branches back to their base.  If you cut only part of the branch off you will be leaving an exposed stem which is unsightly.

5 thoughts on “Evergreen winterkill

  1. I’ve never heard of winterkill, Lori. I guess I always thought that evergreens were impervious to freezing and wouldn’t be damaged even with a harsh winter. I learned something here. 🙂

  2. Hi Lorie,
    I have a small magnolia (approx.5ft) that only has a few leaves sprouting close to the main ‘trunk’. I’m tempted to trim all of the other seemingly dead branches, but could use some advice. To cut or not to cut!

  3. hi Carmelie, lots of plants had a tough time surviving this past winter. Cut any branch that does not have any green sprouting leaves back to the closest branch. For the branches that do have sprouts, cut them back to the leaves, angling the cut outwards. This pruning should make the tree’s energy go to the roots and hopefully revitalize the tree.

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