Winter damage to a Hawthorn Eleanor Tabor Pk

Asked April 11, 2018, 8:59 AM EDT

Good morning! I have several Hawthorns Eleanor Tabor PK planted in my yard. For several years they have thrived beautifully through our summers and winters. This winter they suffered a great deal of damage from either the snow, temperatures, or both. Should I prune the die back, when and how severe a pruning can they withstand? Should anything else be done to help them comeback? The attached photo is an example of the bush I am referring to. Others have more dead areas some have less. Thank you for your advice,

Wicomico County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like winter damage on the Indian hawthorn. This shrub is hardy from Zones 7-10. According to Michael Dirr, author of the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, the shrub is borderline hardy in Zone 7 and probably grows best in Zone 8.
Here is our website on winter damage. This winter was cold, windy, and dry with temperature fluctuations. Next fall water well before the ground freezes. Do not prune in late summer as the new shoots will be damaged by frost.

Wait for new growth before pruning this spring. Be patient. Scratch the branches with your fingernail and look for green tissue. If you see it, the branch is viable. Otherwise prune dead wood. It is a good idea to remove no more than 1/4 when pruning. Keep well watered during dry periods. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the stems.