From a Tough Winter to a Shaky Spring in Northeastern Ohio

There are a lot of “what ifs” when it comes to how well grass, plants and insects will rebound this spring in Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit and Geauga Counties. Yet, you can trust your local landscape company to make sure that your property is well taken care of this spring.

Here’s what your landscape service provider does know: Your property may have sustained some damage from this winter’s extreme cold and they know how to make it right.

The harsh effects on your lawn from winter 2013-14 

Most turf experts can’t give a definitive answer how the frigid temperatures in January and February have affected your lawn. Your landscape company will be looking for grass winterkill which is basically grass that has died due to winter conditions.

Here are some scenarios that put your grass at risk:

  1. Areas on your lawn that get a lot of foot traffic or have vehicles driven over it
  2. Grass located on slopes and hills that face north. Desiccating (dry, cold) winds can kill grass exposed to northern winds
  3. If you have a lot of trees in one area, your grass might’ve developed some type of winterkill due to the lower temperatures and lack of sunlight
  4. Your property’s soil may be lacking enough nutrients inhibiting grass from developing a strong root system during the winter months
  5. Someone applied too much fertilizer on your lawn that your grass could’ve died from gray or pink snow mold
  6. Someone planted grass seeds too late in the fall that seedlings didn’t survive the first frost


Winter’s effect on insects

There is some good that came out of this winter’s frigid temperatures and severe weather. According to experts, this winter’s extreme cold could diminish certain insect populations. No one will know for sure until the weather warms up. Yet, those who work with plants are keeping their fingers crossed that the following insects were reduced by this winter’s wicked weather:

  1. Stink bugs
  2. Emerald ash borer
  3. Gypsy moths
  4. Ticks
  5. Woolly adegid.

Additionally, insects native to northeastern Ohio probably survived winter very well because they’re conditioned for severe, cold weather. For example, honey bees crowd around the queen and flap their wings during the cold winter months. Hives can reach up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with bees’ wings’ agitation keeping the whole colony, and especially the queen, alive under the worst winter conditions.

How well will your landscape plants fare this spring?

It’s hard to tell which trees, shrubs, and plants rode out the winter of 2014. Mid- to late spring will give us a better idea of how your various landscape plants survived this year’s harsh winter weather. Yet, any year can pose a threat to your trees, shrubs and plant media if they experience any of these conditions:

  • Windstorm damage: This happens when strong winds knock over trees, knock down branches and limbs, or disfigure them due to ice, snow and wind.
  • Desiccating winds and transpiration: Winter winds can dry out your evergreens to the point where they’ll turn brown in the spring. But, desiccating winds mixed with transpiration happens when shrubs and trees start to lose water through leaves or needles, and can’t replenish their water stores because their root system is frozen. And if your evergreens looked like they’ve been splashed with a bucket of Clorox, it’s because they lost chlorophyll and can’t replace it. This happens on cold, sunny days.
  • Sun scald: When trees and shrubs face the south or southwest part of your property, they’re at risk for sun scald. Sun scald occurs when the daytime temperature warms up the tree’s bark and causes fluids to flow. Then, at night, the temperature drops too quickly causing the fluid to quickly freeze, the bark cracks and splits. Your young and thin-barked trees are at the most risk for sun scald.
  • Frost heaving: This happens during the spring when you just had your landscaper put in new plants. Since the soil can warm up, and then, freeze again, during the following 24 hours, your new plants will literally heave out of the soil—exposing the root ball to frigid temperatures or allowing cold air to get into the soil.

A lot of plant damage can be avoided by having your landscaper plant your trees and shrubs in areas on your property that aren’t exposed too much northern wind or southern sun exposure. Also, a good landscape contractor will know to add mulch to newly planted flower beds to protect them from frost heave.

If you live in Youngstown, Mansfield, or Sandusky, Ohio, trust Buckeye Hills Landscape this spring to rejuvenate your lawn and landscape after a brutal winter.

For more information about Buckeye Hills Landscape, call them today at 440-582-9980 or fill out their contact form at


Cunningham, Sally. “How Winter Does Its Damage,” Lockwood Garden Center, Hamburg, New York,

Frank, K.W. “Winterkill of Turfgrass,” E0019TURF, University of Michigan Extension,

Hahn, Jeff. “Impact of Cold Weather on Insects,” Yard and Garden News, University of Minnesota Extension,

Moss, Justin Queton and Dennis L. Martin. “Scouting for Bermudagrass Winter Kill,” Turfgrass Science, Oklahoma State University,

Schapper, David. “The Upside of the Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees,” National Public Radio:

Sirucek, Stephan. “Why is the Cold U.S. Winter Killing Off Stinkbugs?” National Geographic: Weird and Wild,

Wisniewski, Nicole. “Tough Winter, Spring Forecast,” Turf-Design Build, February 2014,


Spring into the New Year!

With Spring right around the corner, start to think about enhancing your landscaping.  Whether you begin with simple plantings or a backyard retreat to a complete makeover, Buckeye Hills Landscape can make your property reach its true potential.

Buckeye Hills Landscape specializes in creating and maintaining aesthetically inviting and functional outdoor living spaces such as…


….custom styled pergolas, arbors, and courtyards….


….a winding path that leads to a quiet area or a grand entrance that welcomes your friends and family home….


….the warmth a fireplace brings under a starlit night while enjoying a classically cooked pizza straight out of your own pizza oven….


…wine coolers, rotisserie grilles, kegerators, and all your common amenities in your custom outdoor kitchen….


…to a pond-less waterfall where you can experience all the benefits of a water feature without the upkeep or worries of a pond.


Buckeye Hills Landscaping has certified and licensed landscape architects to assess your needs and goals to design detailed color landscape plans that fit your lifestyle, home and budget.  They will create a unique and personal environment for your enjoyment for years to come!


Interested in Enhancing your Indoor or Outdoor Living Environment?

Join us for with Environments by Design and their FREE series of informative, casual seminars! Details Below... 


Register today to reserve your space!


Saturday, February 18

10am - Room Scaping: One-of-a-kind ideas to enhance your space

            Featuring: Astin/Muckensturm Interiors, Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs 

 2pm - Room Scaping: One-of-a-kind ideas to enhance your space

            Featuring: Astin/Muckensturm Interiors, Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs 


Saturday, February 25

10am - Convert that unused space into a Flexroom

 Featuring: Audio Video Interiors, Closet Factory

2pm - Outdoor Living: Be worlds away in your own backyard

Featuring: Buckeye Hills Landscape, Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs, Valley City Supply


Saturday, March 3

10am - Kitchen & Bath Design Trends

 Featuring: Capozzi Design Group, Snow Brothers Appliance

2pm - How technology can simplify your life & save you money

Featuring: Audio Video Interiors


Saturday, March 10

10am - Outdoor Living: Be worlds away in your own backyard

 Featuring: Buckeye Hills Landscape, Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs, Valley City Supply

12pm - Garage Makeover & Storage Solutions

Featuring: Closet Factory, Cutting Edge Decorative Concrete

2pm - Kitchen & Bath Design Trends

Featuring: Capozzi Design Group, Snow Brothers Appliance


Register today to reserve your space!


NARI Remodel Ohio Home Improvement Show | 1/19 - 1/22

Join us at Booth 1119 in the IX Center's NARI Remodel Ohio Show. Meet with our representatives to discuss any current or future ideas you may have for your Outdoor Living Environment and schedule a FREE consultation if you would like more details on a project.


Green Industry Conference | 10/26-29 2011


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