The Garden Plot: Cold Winter Temperatures Leaves Lingering Impact on Insects & Plants

Long cold winter blots the survival guide for plants and insects

The rhododendron is native to Massachusetts but struggles when taken from tree-covered rich & moist soil.  Add in cold injury and the luscious flower suffers foliage desiccation in dry compacted soil giving it a crispy lifeless texture.

This winter was a cold one – even by New England standards, and as the warmer weeks of spring creep in we tend to forget how frigid some of those nights were. But for some of our landscape plants & pests the impact will be felt for months. Or years.

The Good News:
For many of the non-native invaders like the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, this cold snap has meant a much higher then average winter time mortality rate for the little buggers. This insect has killed, and will likely kill many more (if not all), hemlocks in the Hilltowns and the Pioneer Valley. However, the rapid onset of sustained cold weather has killed off a huge number of this normally cold hardy insect, which has given a temporary reprieve to recently infested trees . Read the rest of this entry »

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