You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Winter damage to plants continues to show

The hot topic in the garden and landscape right now has to do with winter damage to our plants. As spring progresses and plants begin to leaf out, I am seeing the results of the cold weather in my garden. I am also hearing complaints and questions from others.

The most devastating to me has been the death of my prized Japanese maples. I am crushed each time I go outside and look at them. I keep hoping something will change day to day, and it’s not working.

Every single Japanese maple in my landscape except for the cultivar ‘Full Moon’ is either dead or has very little new growth. Two cultivars are growing from the base, below the graft. This is not a good sign.

The interesting thing to me is that ‘Full Moon’ is the most exposed tree in the garden. It’s on the west side of my perennial bed, open to wind and cold temperatures. All of the others are near the house and somewhat protected.

Let me know if you are seeing any issues with your Japanese maples (e-mail ). I am curious as to the extent of the damage.

My colleagues and I are also tracking other plant damage for historical purposes. For instance, back in the winter of 1994, we noted winter injury to forsythia blooms. They bloomed only at the snow line.

This year, I noticed that forsythia blooms were either spars, non-existent, or just below the snow line. I was in Akron last week and noticed that their forsythia in some places were in full glorious bloom.

The other plant I am getting quite a few calls about is English ivy. This has suffered quite a bit of dieback in some areas of the state. Jim Chatfield, OSU Extension horticulture specialist, saw a planting in southeastern Ohio that was in perfect condition.

English ivy in the Miami Valley took a hit and is pretty much brown back to the ground. The best thing to do is wait to see what new growth emerges and then cut the plant back to the new growth. The old leaves will eventually die off.

You can also cut it back to the crown and it should come back. If you have a big landscape planting of ground cover, the easiest is to put the lawn mower on the highest setting and mow the entire area. You may have to sharpen the blade after doing this, but it’s quick and easy.

I mentioned earlier in the season the damage to boxwood. I cut mine back about 3-4 inches and haven’t seen new growth yet; I am still watching to determine the extent of the damage. You can check the stems down in the middle of the plant and also see the extent of the damage.

Roses took a beating, as well.

On all of these plants, the best advice is watch and see what happens. Don’t give up now, as we are still early in the season and many plants aren’t supposed to leaf out in early May. Be patient. We’ll talk more about winter damage as the season progresses, I am sure.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

When sending flowers just won’t do

Flowers. Don’t send them. My former colleague, Tim, lost his beloved Uncle Bill this week. People sent flowers. That’s what they do at times like these. Tim says don’t do it. Not because he didn’t adore his uncle. Oh, how he adored him. Still does. “He’s the man who influenced me to become a journalist,” he...
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday

Some of Springfield’s hottest kitchens will welcome fans in this weekend. The 11th annual Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO) Kitchens Tour will highlight five different spaces, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The tour is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. “We&rsquo...
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast

  Katharine, the great white shark, has surfaced again in Florida waters, this time pinging off the coast just north of Port St. Lucie. Katharine, who has been swimming up the east coast of Florida since January, started her northward trek parallel to Lake Worth on January 13. In the months that have followed, she has moved up the coast as far...
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news  Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night...
What’s under your feet at the playground?
What’s under your feet at the playground?

The playground: a universal source of fun for children. It’s also a place to burn calories, make new friends and develop skills like how to judge risks and make decisions. A good playground challenges and engages children but is also designed to keep them safe. One of the best ways to lower the chances of serious injuries is to make sure there...
More Stories