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Storm-Damaged Trees And Shrubs Can Recover

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By Jonathan Wilson

Many homeowners are still coming to grips with the damage this year's record breaking snowfall did to their shrubs and trees.

A local horticultural expert has some tips on helping plants heal.

Kirsten Buhls, an agricultural extension agent for Arlington County, says the most important thing for property owners with damaged trees or shrubs is pruning damaged limbs as soon as they can.

Pruning helps promote new growth, says Buhls, and in the case of shrubs, many are so resilient that even severe damage can be overcome if gardeners act quickly using a technique called rejuvenation pruning.

"You cut the plant down to six or eight inches tall, and let it come out again from that new growth," Buhls explains.

Buhls says pruning trees, especially larger ones, is trickier and can be dangerous. She urges residents to call a certified arborist for help.

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