Archive VIII


This is a scene from the first week in January snowfall.  We presently have about 6-10 inches of snow on the ground as I write this page. 

It has been a windy winter but there hasn't been excessive tree damage.  The 'Broads' are still completely open (white caps today 1/7).  So far I feel fortunate that we haven't been hit real hard but then again a good cover of snow means adequate insulation for plant's root systems.  We hope to have a little more snow than  this, then it can hold off. 

Our current activities now include truck and equipment maintenance, winter pruning, follow-up anti-transpirant and deer repellent sprays and a small amount of snow related work.  Thanks to a long period of mild weather this fall we were able to finish up all of the maintenance needed to prepare our landscapes for winter.  The obvious major task is to get all of the cleanups completed and lawns cut to the proper height for entering winter before the first snowfall.  This season mother nature provided us ample time to accomplish this.  

In a year when spring weather is cool and damp and the first half of the summer is extremely rainy there is serious potential for foliar diseases on plant material.  To reduce the potential for infections in subsequent years cleanup of leaves in planting beds around plant material is  important.  If conditions are favorable next spring, fungal or bacterial spores can re-infect your landscape's plants.  In addition to sanitation in the form of leaf cleanups, cutting back of herbaceous perennials and pruning out disease infected branches and stems of plants is also important. 

We are now at the beginning of a great time to prune trees and shrubs.  Corrective pruning to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches is recommended.  Between now and late winter while plants are dormant it is also the proper time to prune fruit trees.  In addition to the dormancy aspect, during the winter months trees and shrubs are leafless revealing the branching structure which make selecting pruning cuts more easy.

Another thing we accomplished this fall was to make a maintenance application of lime to almost all of our lawns.  This is the best time of year to do this.  Lime is not very mobile and requires 3-6 months to work its way down into the soil.  The combination of rain, melting snow and freezing and thawing facilitates the process.

The last thing we did in late November and December was to apply an anti-transpirant to broadleaf evergreens (mostly Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurels).  This spray leaves a thin wax emulsion coating on the leaves of plants to lock in moisture in leaves thereby increasing plant survival during the harsh winter months when desiccation can be a problem.   In areas where we have had problems with either rodents or deer feeding on plants during the winter we also spray a deer repellent.  The repellent is non-toxic and safe for children, pets and the environment.  We are now alternating between two different products as research has shown that after a long enough period of using the same product, deer may begin to feed again.  We usually make one to two additional sprays through mid and late winter as these sprays tend to lose their potency after a couple months.  The last precaution we take is to spread salt marsh hay over herbaceous perennials and around any particularly tender plantings.  We use salt marsh hay because it doesn't contain seed that will cause a weed problem the following season.  This is done after temperatures have fallen long enough to allow plants to harden off and the ground to freeze.  The hay is as much for preventing damage resulting from freezing and thawing in late winter and spring as it is for pure cold weather insulation.  There is probably more damage done to plants from fluctuations in temperatures over the winter and into spring as there is from just cold temperatures.

Hopefully this has given you a brief overview of how we prepare your landscapes for the winter.  Late Fall is a critical time for this.  The more we can do to help mitigate the effects of our harsh winters the better prospect there is for a healthy landscape next spring.


Once again we decorated our company Christmas tree and exhibited it at the 'Festival of Trees' here in Wolfeboro at the Wright Museum.  We're always happy to be part of this fine fund raiser that is put on each year.  Jan and Sue did a great job on the tree.  This year they sprayed dried Hydrangeas gold and also used many other dried perennials and grasses as decorations.  Each year we decorate with plant parts collected during the season and each year a slightly different twist is used for the theme. 

Carroll County Landscape, Inc.   P.O. Box 237  Wolfeboro Falls, NH  03896   Phone:  (603) 569-2013  Fax:  (603) 569-2013