Is My Plant Dead Or Alive?

Many shrubs were damaged by the prolonged freeze in late December.  Many lost their leaves and have not yet begun to sprout new growth.  Are they dead or alive?  Here’s how to find out.  Use a small knife to scratch the bark of a branch.  If you see green then it’s alive – if it is brittle and brown then that stem is dead.  Continue to test stems moving inward to the interior branches.  If you never scratch and see green, then the growth above ground is dead.  The root-ball can still be alive however and possibly sprout new growth.

But wait…here’s where it can get tricky. Some trees and shrubs (not all) are grafted onto root stock from another variety of that plant. If new growth emerges from the root ball and not above the graft then you are now growing a different variety of plant than what you originally planted. If the growth is above the graft then your original plant is growing back.

If the stems were green, then you should begin to see new growth as it continues to warm up. Once you do, apply plant food or Azomite to help replenish minerals the plant needs to thrive.

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