Winter 2014: The Saga Continues – In suburban Maryland and the DC metro area, winter 2014 continues to pack a punch with extremely cold air and plenty of snow and ice. Enough already!
While driving around or walking outside, you’ll likely see quite a bit of damage to local lawns, shrubs and trees in Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown and also in Frederick and Howard counties during and after this brutal winter. Damage from ice and salt are the most prominent issues so far, but desiccation from “winter burn” (think of those frozen green beans you’ve had in your freezer for 6 months) will also show up on many broadleaf and needled evergreens. This “winter burn” usually starts to show as the warmer spring temperatures come our way.
Salt damages our environment in many ways and pollution to our waterways spikes after winters such as this. Click to here to learn about salt damage on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website. Our state and local governments continue to apply vast amounts of salt and brine solutions to our roadways with little heed to the environmental damage they’re causing. But that’s another blog post…
Many plants will recover naturally and some can be helped with proper pruning and maintenance. However, some plants in the marginally hardy Zone 7, (Montgomery, and Howard and Frederick counties) may be killed back, sometimes all the way to the ground. Plants such as Boxwood, Crape Myrtle, Privet, Rosemary, Lavender and others fall into this category.
A partial silver lining that may come from all this cold weather is that mosquitoes, gnats, and some other pests could see their populations knocked back this spring and summer. But don’t get too excited, because if we have a warm and wet summer, these pest populations can easily rebound. Sorry for the buzz kill (or not!).
Promoting Higher Education – As a longtime member and president of the D.C. Branch of the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), “Professionals on the Cutting Edge”, I am proud that our non-profit organization promotes networking, education and certification to improve and elevate professionalism within the Green Industry.
As part of that mission, the D.C. Branch of the PGMS offers financial scholarships to local students who are pursuing higher education in the Green Industry and related fields. Please click here to download the scholarship application. If you or someone you know could benefit from this scholarship opportunity, please share this information with them or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org