Do you dislike winter weather? Do you hate the cold that gives us the shivers, or the snow that makes driving conditions unbearable at times?

Well, our plants are not always thrilled about winter either, especially the ice and fluctuating temperatures we see as spring approaches.

The changing temperatures makes one wonder how plants can survive -33 C yet be damaged by -3 C a few months later.

It all has to do with fluctuating hardiness. Plants produce their own antifreeze, but they reach maximum hardiness in January and February. As the temperatures rise, the plants start to de-harden, and therefore when the temperatures drop again, they may suffer freeze injuries.

Damage usually shows up later in the spring. Never try to remove built up ice and snow, as this will cause more damage to your plants. Simply let it melt naturally and your trees, shrubs and plants will return to their normal forms.

Prune any broken branches as soon as possible, as clean cuts heal quicker than a ragged break. Also, be aware of using de-icers like salt near your trees and shrubs.

To avoid freeze injury, know your planting zone and select plants that are hardy in your location.

Of course, a certain rodent (not mentioning any names) has predicted an early spring, so maybe we will be safe from freeze injuries this year.

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on March 21? Our speakers Troy Moodie, Kelly Bowers and Natalie Hahn will discuss the importance of bees.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Visit us online on our Facebook page or website,

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or

– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

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