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As the clouds lift, attention turns to frosty plants

Posted: December 18, 2008 8:22 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 4:59 a.m.
 
Many rain-soaked and shivering Santa Clarita Valley residents thawing out from Wednesday's snowstorm turned their attention to plants and trees exposed to freezing temperatures.

Many woke Thursday morning to sub-freezing temperatures.

On Wednesday, more than 100 local people called the Green Landscape Nursery at Bouquet Canyon Road and Cinema Drive for advice about their plants, nursery owner Richard Green said.

"We've had more than a hundred phone calls from people saying, ‘What do I do now?'" Green said Thursday.

His advice is to dress up the orange and lemon trees with the plant equivalent of socks and gloves, he told them.

"If you were to put socks on your plants, you do it with mulch or bark pieces spread over the tops of the roots," he said.

Residents worried about protecting sensitive plants were advised to "clothe" them using a tarpaulin or blanket.

At least two landscapers with tree and plant-growing operations in the eastern parts of the Santa Clarita Valley reported heavy snow from Placerita Canyon to Sand Canyon on Wednesday.

"A fellow landscaper in Placerita was more excited about having his kids come home from school to play in the snow," Green said.

Try and heat the area around the plants, local landscaper Chad Curtis, owner of Landscape Pros, told local plant owners.

"It's a little corny, but you should place a sheet or burlap over the plant," he said. "You want to keep the frost from developing on the leaves."

One tip he offered concerned plant owners was to lay down a string of Christmas bulbs at the base of the plants to keep them warm.

A third landscaper based in Placerita Canyon phoned Richard Green to report heavy snowfall. Green - who owns plants and trees in three locations including one in Placerita - said his only concern was the weight of heavy wet snow breaking branches of local oak trees.

As a long-time landscaper in Santa Clarita, Green said he doesn't use "frost tender" plants in his landscaping.

"Generally, we don't use frost tender plants because we do get cold weather here," he said.

On Wednesday, he warned concerned plant-owners about clear blue skies that follow a snowstorm.

"Frost will happen with clear blue skies and no wind," he said. "That's when it catches people off guard."

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