Falling ice damage

CConverseMarch 28, 2011

Hi! I'm in upstate NY and I just moved to a home with some gorgeous rhododendrons in the front last summer. Over the winter however, they suffered some ice damage - not from cold temps, but from ice dams falling off of our roof. With over 173 inches of snow, and no thaws during the winter like we typically get, some huge ice dams formed on our roof, and fell on my plants. They seem to still have a couple live branches but they are looking pretty sad and leggy. Can they be saved, and if so, is there some way to prune them so that they will fill back in? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Prune away the dead branches and wait and see what foliage buds open. You can nurse them back to health. You will be pruning to shape them once you see which branches are alive and where new branches form. By next fall you will have a good idea of what you are working with.

You will probably want to move them or make roof-like structures to deflect the falling ice.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 12:08AM
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LindaMA(MA z5)

I had a similar problem myself. With all the snow this past winter, my husband had to get up on our roof and remove some of the snow and ended up throwing the snow and ice right on my Rhodys, so I have about 3 that are looking pretty bad. Two of them are the smaller, thinner rhodys, which appear a lot more fragile. I will wait to see what lives and what doesn't and take it from there.

It's pretty sad when you work so hard to keep your shrubs nice and things like this happen.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:52AM
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