Ways Winter Can Affect Your Landscape

Cold weather and snow can transform your property into a beautiful winter wonderland. But when spring rolls around, you may begin to see the lasting impact the season has on your landscaping. The extent of the winter damage can depend on a number of factors including the types of plants and soil characteristics. Read on to learn more about the variety of ways winter can affect both the softscape and hardscape aspects of your landscaping.


Most plants in your yard will experience dieback to some extent during the winter. Plants that may be especially susceptible to dieback include magnolias, vines, roses, Japanese maples, and Japanese tree lilacs. Prune or trim these plants at the beginning of the growing season to combat dieback and ensure the plants can continue to grow healthily. 

Winter Burn

Plants that do not lose their leaves during the fall and winter may experience winter burn. This includes needled evergreens like pine, spruce, and yews, as well as broadleaf evergreens like azalea, rhododendron, and holly. Winter burn can be caused by either extremely cold or extremely mild winters and is made worse by strong winds and sun and a lack of precipitation. The damage will cause the needles or leaves to turn yellow, then brown and dry. To prevent winter burn, spray evergreens with an anti-transpirant at the start of the season.

Sun Scald

Sun scald occurs when the bark of tree species like maples, ash, cherry, and linden freeze because of the winter weather. Keep the trees on your property safe from sun scald by wrapping the trunks with plastic tree guards or commercial tree wrap. Consult with a professional company that offers lawn care services in Reno, NV, to learn more about protecting your landscaping with preventative measures.

Root Damage

Plants with shallow roots like roses and perennials can suffer from root damage during the winter. Typically, roots do not acclimate to below freezing temperatures and may perish if topsoil temperatures fall below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. When the rest of the plant starts to grow during the spring, the frozen roots may wilt and die. Insulate the roots during the winter by adding mulch or leaf litter around the plant.

Salt Damage

Plants located near walkways and driveways are prone to undergo salt damage. Symptoms of this sort of harm include leaf scorch, browning evergreens, dead areas, and branch dieback. These signs of damage do not typically appear until spring or early summer. Evergreens, parkway trees, grasses, shrubs, and perennials are particularly prone to salt damage, so keep a watchful eye on them throughout the season. In the spring, prune these plants as necessary and deep root feed to encourage healthy growth.

Hardscape Damage

It’s not just plants that can sustain damage during the winter; hardscape elements around your property can also experience their fair share of problems. For example, concrete, stone, and soil can also experience salt damage. Additionally, pieces of hardscape can shift, crack, or become discolored during the winter. Water can seep into cracks in these features, which will freeze and expand as the temperature drops, causing more damage. 

Contact us at Action Lawn and Landscape to learn more about preventing and repairing winter damage.


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