One of the toughest battles landscapes face has to be the wrath of Mother Nature.
Some days she brings calm winds, sunshine, and peaceful skies. But other days, she erupts into an angry mass of dark clouds, unforgiving downpours, and violent gusts.
And, despite the best predictions, each year she always surprises us--whether it's with a dangerous drought, a robust flood or a severe snowstorm.
The East reported the "Cold of the Century," with the early January "Polar Vortex" breaking more than 2,000 temperature records throughout the Central and Eastern U.S. The unprepared South even suffered paralyzing snow and ice storms. But this was only East of the Rocky Mountains.
West of the Rocky Mountains, another problem developed. The West suffered the "Drought of the Century." Just as the unusually hot Atlantic in 2012 created heat and droughts, the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, a massive high-pressure area in the North Pacific that is nearly 4 miles high and 2,000 miles long, was shaped by unusually hot water. This brought dry, hot air and no rain, evaporating what little moisture the area still had.
Historically, neither problem proves to go away quickly. Arctic cold will continue until the polar region warms slightly and begins its springtime retreat. And meteorologists say this is one of those years where drought will linger in the West as well.
Looking further ahead into this season, Mother Nature will continue to bring surprises. The 2014 storm predictions from Global Weather Oscillations are calling for severe hurricanes, forecasting 17 named storms for 2014.
"We haven't seen the last effects of the severe cold snap we had," says Durant Ashmore, a landscape architect and columnist for The Greenville News in Greenville, S.C. "It will really be this spring before the full extent of the damage is known. Some plants you are worrying about now will recover and be none the worse for wear. Some plants that seem OK now won't produce new growth this spring, or the new growth will be erratic and disappointing."
And that's where proper care can mean so much to trees, shrubs, and lawns. Healthy landscapes with the right maintenance can withstand some of the worst cards Mother Nature deals.
You can't predict the weather, or when it will take a turn for the worst. But it's possible to help increase the rate of survival for your landscape's trees and other plant material by making sure your trees are ready if and when extreme conditions do occur.
Have a tree that was impacted by this winter's storms? We can help you determine the best way to salvage your tree. Davey's professionally trained arborists can also inspect your trees to determine the best solutions in preparation of Mother Nature's wrath all year long.
In the meantime, click here for a preview of the tips you'll need to know before inspecting your trees this season. Your trees will thank you later!