Monday, August 29, 2011

Tips for Storm Clean Up

  • If a tree splits in half, as Bradford pears are prone to do, or loses over ½ of its canopy it really is not worth saving. The tree may continue to live for some time but will never recover its shape and eventually decay will set in and the tree will fail.

  • For broken branches that you can safely reach and remove, make sure you know where to cut! Poor pruning cuts result in decay and future problems. Find out more about how to remove a limb from this Florida Extension website:

  • If multiple branches are broken in a shrub, cut the shrub back to 3’-4’ tall. Many shrubs can recover from this type of damage. Wax myrtles are particularly prone to falling apart during strong wind.

  • For perennials and ornamental grasses that blow over, go ahead and cut them back to around 2’ tall. They will not stand up again and staking them up is rarely successful. Add the clippings to the compost pile.

  • For annuals that fall apart, you may as well pull them up. It will be time to replace them in another month anyway.

  •  If you live close to the ocean and salt spray has covered your shrubs and perennials rinse them off with clean water as soon as possible if rainfall does not do this for you.

  • Tip out any containers of standing water – they will just provide breeding grounds for mosquitos! Mosquito dunks (which contain a special strain of B.t., an organic insecticide) can be placed in small ponds and shallow areas of standing water to help kill mosquito larva.

Pender County Cooperative Extension is open! If you have further questions about how to handle storm damaged plants give us a call at 910-259-1235 or use our 'Ask an Expert' widget to post your questions online,

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