A dilemma we must face.
Three weeks ago, I broke with tradition. The extended forecast I was looking at was troubling, to say the least, and its timing was bad. Christmas was little more than a week away, and it is difficult to think about ‘gardening stuff’ when you’re in the midst of the holidays. Normally, I would want to put out a gardening ‘thank-you’ and spread the holiday cheer; as we are blessed to be afforded the opportunity to do business in this dynamic middle Tennessee market. I try, to the best of my ability, to communicate the truth. The truth however, is not always easy nor particularly palatable.
During the winters of ‘77-’79 we had three back-to-back-to-back winters where all broadleaf evergreens got either killed back severely, or killed out completely. So much so, that a great many stopped using hollies, and laurels, and such, only to go back to them in a few years…
For me, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
Having been through many events over these decades, I did my best to pass along that experience to everyone, then I had to act upon it. My staff worked for more than a week putting finishing touches on ‘winterizing’ all of our plants. This was the first use of our new facility, and they covered every detail. I was at the nursery continuously from 4am on December 22 until 6pm on December 24, making sure all doors stayed closed and all emergency heaters stayed lit.
We have no control over the weather. Lack of power is our dilemma. We go to extensive measures to ensure that every plant we sell is alive, healthy and true to name. Weather is difficult: tornado, drought, extreme heat, flooding conditions, or flash freezing; these forces occur, frequently without notice.
Most everyone wants to know, “what should we do?”, regarding their badly burned plants in their landscapes. Our best ally is patience. Trimming shouldn’t occur for at least two or three months. Assess but don’t obsess.