Saskatchewan’s overly 'hot' to 'overly' cold climate is often responsible for severe damage to landscape plants. Winter sun, wind, and cold temperatures can bleach and desiccate evergreen foliage, damage tree bark, and injure or kill branches, flower-buds, and roots. Snow and ice can break branches and topple entire trees.
Salt used for deicing streets, sidewalks, and parking lots is harmful to landscape plantings. While winter food shortages force rodents and deer to feed on bark, twigs, flower-buds, and foliage, injuring and sometimes killing trees and shrubs.
Yet if we protect our trees and shrubs, winter damage can be minimized.
Plants that are not hardy in in our zones 2/3 will be killed or injured during the winter season. Plants that normally grow in hardiness zone 3 may also be injured if winter conditions are abnormally severe, or if plants have been stressed by the environment. Injury is more prevalent and more severe when low temperatures occur in early fall or late spring, when there is little or no winter snow cover or when low temperatures are extreme.
Pronounced fluctuations in temperature can be extremely detrimental to plants, throughout the fall, winter, or spring.