This spring we experienced a hard freeze after the sap had begun coming up in the trees… This caused two of our beloved transplants to winter kill. Many of the trees throughout the area had also suffered this fate.
Definition of winter-kill
transitive verb: to kill (a plant or part of a plant) by exposure to winter conditions
intransitive verb: to die as a result of exposure to winter conditions
Even trees are susceptible to winter kill. When the temperature drops rapidly to below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the tree’s bark starts to rapidly contract, which causes stress fissures. The cracks in a tree usually happen on the south side of the tree. Winter winds also dry out the needles of evergreen trees.MaximumYield
I shared with my Mom (born in 1930… what a trooper) about the trees and her response;
Leave it alone and it will come back.Mom
So Mom’s advice to “leave it alone and it will come back” worked for one… The other will need to be pruned when the sap has withdrawn to the roots, not during “pre-snow” season while it is still trying to get ready for winter. LOL This is also when we prune the other plants like wild roses, the cold of winter being the perfect anesthetic for their transformation.
The changes of fall are a good metaphoric example of when we need to drop dead leaves, let dead dogs lie, or (insert your metaphor of choice here)… So should we leave well enough alone or prune back? WHO KNOWS?!? Change in life happens that is out of our control, but we can choose how we perceive/receive our surroundings by living intentionally and in the present.
I’ll compare the “Michael” tree (first image link above) to those of us who overthink our surroundings and make multiple attempts to create something more habitable when we would have done better to keep just a few branches and dig in our roots a little deeper where we are at (the present moment). “Michael” needs lots of extra attention even being close to the house where it is somewhat sheltered from hard freezes. Even so, “Michael” has been impacted more than the lilac (second image link above) that gets less water and receives more pests. The lilac endures more but “Michael” still shows signs of stress in the form of multiple branches/shoots and attempts to shrub rather than dig in (or focus) while the lilac gets a little stronger every year. We have another early freeze coming in the next two days… I pray “Michael” survives.
This coming winter brings an opportunity for transformation on a number of levels, the tides of change coming at us all on a global scale. It is up to each and every one of us to become intentional about our daily choices and not stress like “Michael” does. Overthinking and resulting stress is a weakening factor for all species… NO MATTER WHAT, sometimes life just throws us an unexpected loop. We can either;
- let it go and find the beauty in change, or
- overthink our surroundings and allow stress to weaken us.
STAY GOLDEN FRIENDS… never waste a moment. (((NOT ONE)))