This is the spring for animal damage. Seems like the voles and rabbits were busy munching on just about everything over the winter. The photo above shows some shrubs on Sargent’s property with significant damage. As trees and shrubs start to leaf out be on the lookout for branches or entire plants that aren’t showing any signs of life. The next step is to check the lower portions of the branches or trunks for missing bark or areas that are a different color than the rest of the plant as show in the photo. In cases where the critters have eaten too deeply into the branch or trunk the plant is unlikely to survive. Even in these cases, new grow can still come from the base of the shrub and it will regrow over time. Other times the damage may be superficial and the plant will heal and continue to grow.
Many plants take well into late May or even June before leafing out so be patient. If you have a plant under Sargent’s plant guarantee please don’t dig up the plant and bring it in. If possible please bring in photos of the affected plant. Our warranty covers normal winter kill, but does not protect against animal damage. Our staff can help you assess any damage and suggest the next steps.
Photo of vole damage to junipers. Bark removed and needles missing.