Re: [gardeners] transplanting question

penny x stamm (
Fri, 27 Oct 2000 23:22:08 -0400

Billie, it's very interesting that snow actually protects shrubs
in the wintertime...  Cold weather without snow can be a serious
problem, and windy weather is very destructive in wintertime,
because the leaves dry out, and the roots are dormant and cannot 
replenish the moisture.

Ordinarily, we might have about 3 or 4 snowstorms a season. A
few years ago we were slammed with 18 snowstorms, and the 
destruction was dreadful -- but the snow did NOT cover all parts
of the shrubbery, it merely came up about half way. My front lawn
looked like a perfect ice skating rink -- smooth and shiny. That
protected the grass, of course.  But as for the bushes, once
spring came we found out the seriousness of inadequate snowfall,
for each and every azalea and rhododendron in the area only
bloomed from half-way down to the ground. Everything above that
strange line had had its buds killed!  Some bushes died, some
lived to bloom again a year later, but the effect was shocking. 

Then again, last winter was unusually mild, with only one snowstorm. 
That's not good either, because the winds still dessicate the leaves,
and many bushes died. 

Actually, for two years I put up burlap in December on the western 
side of my property from whence came all of the wind.  We 
hammered in about 20  8ft stakes, and that was mighty difficult
because of the neighbor's 60ft pine tree roots. Then we beat
our brains in trying to fasten the 80ft of 6ft high burlap to the stakes.
Staples didn't take, thumb tacks refused, and we finally resorted 
to threading a narrow wire thru the burlap and around the stake
and cinching it shut, in 3 places for each stake. Our fingers froze,
and our hands were sore -- and my neighbor had to stare at that
burlap for 4 months...!  We gave up.  Many Maximus rhodies died, 
so I replaced them with holly (strong as an ox) and ilex (ditto).  
They act as a perfect foil for the wind, and protect what is in front
such as azaleas, mountain laurel, bird's nest spruce, and the 
hybrid rhodies.  So far, so good.

Penny, NY

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