Transitions in March
Mar 06, 2018 | 623 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Any gardener or outdoor enthusiast has noticed the blooms appearing everywhere.  It seems that is time for spring to arrive. We are just a few days into the month of March.  March is a notable and historical transitional month.

Our native Elm trees are wrapping up their blooms.  Elm trees started a couple of weeks ago, in fact. Of course, the native Pecan trees will be among the very last to bloom with its catkins.  A pecan’s blooms are a sure sign for many that no more frosts should occur.

Mid-March is the historical average last frost date.  With nearly 100 years of history, Thursday, March 15, which occurs during most area schools spring break will mark the average date that we have a 50% chance of frosts being behind us.  These historical records reach back as long ago as the late 1800’s in many parts of the state.

This year, the last harsh cold spell last got us down to the lower teens for a couple of days.  We will certainly be learning what truly is cold hardy to this area as everything greens up from winter dormancy.

I’ve had calls about some exotic tropical plants. The question is will they make it?  I don’t really know.

So much depends on the plant’s specific variety and microclimate where they were growing.  

As we watch and wait to see what did make it, many gardeners have asked if it would help to cut plants back. It certainly may.

With an investigative eye, take your hand pruners or loppers and make a few cuts into the branches of those plants you are concerned of having lost.  As you take a cut or two, examine to see if you are cutting dry, dead plant tissue that succumbed to the freeze or a healthy limb that simply hasn’t started its spring growth.  

Definitely, removing dead tissue won’t be a problem and is to be encouraged in all pruning endeavors. Of course, I wouldn’t advise you to cut anything back any more than you would in a normal year.


Shaniqua Davis is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Upshur County. Her email address is   

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