Did your shrubs survive Atlanta's ice storms? - CBS46 News

Did your shrubs survive Atlanta's ice storms?

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Indian hawthornes damaged by Atlanta's ice storms Indian hawthornes damaged by Atlanta's ice storms
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

If your shrubs are looking ratty and aren't showing any signs of spring, they might have fallen victim Atlanta's back-to-back ice storms, experts say.

But don't yank them out of the ground just yet, said Mickey Gazaway, a horticulturist at Pike Nurseries.

"What I tell people first is to bend the branch," said Gazaway. "See if it's still pliable. If it is, there's a good chance that it's OK. Usually, they'll get hard and brittle when they're dead."

Gazaway said you can also scratch the bark. If it's green underneath, it's alive, she said.

But even if it's brown underneath, there could still be hope for the plant, said Gazaway.

"Wait until April, even mid-April, and then you can cut back what you need to," Gazaway said. "If it's lopsided, you can cut the whole thing back because you want it to look good. But usually, it'll come right back out. Broad leaves are very forgiving."

Gazaway said some common shrubs susceptible to cold weather damage include gardenia, loropetalum, holly and Indian hawthorne.

"It's been a really bad winter. It really has. But most everything in my yard survived," she said. "I mean, some of it looks bad. My gardenia looks awful, but most of it's going to make it."

Pike is offering free classes to help people assess cold weather damage to their plants. The classes are scheduled for Saturday, March 22, and Wednesday, March 26, at all Pike Nurseries locations. Click here for more information.

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