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How to Prevent Frost Damage

Temperatures below -5 degrees Celsius will affect even some winter plants, and temperatues below -16 degrees Celsius will affect just about everything! The plant tissue freezes as ice crystals grow. When the ice crystals burst, the plant cells die.

How to Check for Life:
To establish whether there is life still in a plant, simply scrape back the bark on the main stems of the plant checking a number of areas along the main stem from top to toe on the plant. Scrape back the brown stem to check for green healthy wood under the bark. Where green coloured stems are present there is a good chance this plant will reshoot. If, however, the stems are brown or black, and brittle there is every chance this plants has failed.

If There is Life:
Where green colouration is present, cut back to this area in mid March. Apply a dressing of a good fertiliser in spring and again in early summer.

If Brittle and Brown Stems Appear:
Cut the dead & damaged plants back to healthier wood / stems in mid March. Wait for new growth to appear in mid April – many plants like Fuchsia and Escallonia will reshoot from the base (at or near ground level). When growth appears feed entire hedge with a good fertiliser in early spring and repeat dressing in early summer. If in doubt leave the plant alone until late spring and check for signs of new growth.

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