We were fairly lucky to not lose a lot over the past winter - damage on a couple of trees and some shrubs, and the loss of a season of hydrangeas, but over all nothing too bad. Except for the Clethera [Clethera alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'].
|Fully leafed out and beginning to bloom in 2011, it was a beautiful, big shrub.|
It was always the last shrub to leaf out, so I didn't pay a lot of attention when it seemed a bit slower than usual this year, and then suddenly last week I realized that absolutely everything else was fully leafed out - even the crepe myrtles. Something was definitely wrong.
Last weekend it looked like this:
Closer inspection showed that the trunks were in very bad shape - so bad that the entire older part was very dead. Over the long weekend I cut it out, leaving the side shoots that had leafed out and hoping that time will help it fill out into a shrub again.
|See the damage on the bark? All the major stems showed this. I fear it's a disease and not just the bad winter weather.|
That left a huge hole in the "landscape" next to the pond, so I spent the rest of the morning re-doing that whole area.
|The side stems are leafing out and I hope that they will thrive now that there is no competition.|
I moved iris, yarrow and ajuga to fill in the space and mulched it all in. A bit of TLC and I hope it will look good - and healthy - in a few weeks.