With the passing of Dorian, some of you may have either wind- or flood-affected plants. By addressing these plants early, you may be able to minimize the effects of the storm.

Wind-damaged plants may have broken limbs. Once identified, these limbs should be pruned to form a smooth cut, since a smooth cut will heal quicker than a jagged one.

Pruning cuts should be made close to a bud or node. The section of a limb with no foliage is an internode and an area with leaves is a node. Pruning cuts should be made just beyond a node since hormones, which support healing, accumulate at nodes. Cutting into the middle of a section of internode may allow the limb to decay, which can then spread on down the limb, even a healthy one.

Plants flooded with saltwater can die due to accumulated salt. To eliminate the salt from the plant’s root zone, flood the area with fresh water. This will leach the salt past the roots helping to minimize salt damage.

To leach a tree or shrub with fresh water, it is best to place a garden hose at the base of a plant and just let it run. An irrigation system is not designed to flood, but instead to wet an area, so it is not ideal to leach individual plants. The exception to employing the irrigation system is the lawn. It is such a large area that a hose would be time-consuming.

Addressing storm-damaged plants quickly can help to increase their survival. Prune and irrigate as needed to minimize the effects of Dorian.


Readers may e-mail questions or contact Keith at keithfuller602@att.net.