We are fortunate, here in southeastern Wisconsin, to have received abundant snowfall immediately prior to the arctic cold in 2019. This thick blanket of snow will act as insulation for plants and provide valuable protection from wintery winds and bitter temperatures.
Arctic Cold Kills Bad Insects: A Silver Lining
One silver lining of this record-breaking arctic cold period is that it will likely cause high mortality to some destructive insects. Studies conducted by the U.S. Forest Service indicate that large numbers (up to 90%) of Emerald Ash Borer larvae, which overwinter under the bark of trees, will not survive when temperatures drop below -23 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, populations of ticks and of Japanese beetles are less likely to be affected as these both overwinter on or in the ground, under the protection of insulating snow cover.
How Does Arctic Cold Affect Birds?
During these periods of extreme arctic cold, it is especially important to keep your bird feeders stocked. High-fat foods such as black oils sunflower seed and suet are ideal.
Once Spring Arrives, Be Patient!
Once spring arrives, if you do not see growth on your garden plants, be patient. Even if top growth is killed on vulnerable shrubs it is still possible for rootstock to remain viable and for plants to re-grow from the base.
Awaiting Spring’s Arrival
In the meantime, as we await spring’s arrival…try to enjoy the beauty of these crisp winter days, bundle up when you go outdoors, and come see us. While we’re busy re-designing the shop, unpacking new spring products, and generally preparing for the upcoming season we still miss seeing you and would love to have you stop by to talk about your plants.