We recently had a severe hail storm that left my panniculata hydrangea...
We recently had a severe hail storm that left my panniculata hydrangea stripped of most of its leaves and with many bark "wounds". It looks pretty awful. Should I cut out the branches that don't show any signs of green or wait and see? Do you think it can survive on maybe less than a quarter of its normal leaves?
Rutland County Vermont
Hail damage can certainly look severe! A this point, you want to observe the plant until the bark heals up to catch any signs of infection early. Specifically:
Should I cut the branches that don't show signs of green or wait and see? Wait and see. Also, please review the link below for information pertaining to pruning schedules for hydrangea. http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/HortShorts_Time_to_Prune_Some_Hydrangeas_IF_NEEDED.html
Do you think it can survive on maybe less than a quarter of it normal leaves? Yes, as long as 1/4 of the leaves are still present there is a moderate chance for survival. Plants are marvelously resilient. Reference: http://pep.wsu.edu/hortsense/scripts/query/displayProblem.asp?tableName=plant&problemID=780&categoryID=1