Precipitation

Precipitation, Precipitation Damage, Hail, Rain And Glazed Frost, Snow, Precipitation Symptoms

Hail Damage on Tomatoes by Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)
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A close up of a tomato plant with hail damage
Hail Damage on Tomatoes by Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)
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Damage by precipitation, or hail, can vary in severity. Potential damage can depend on where you live; coupled with the size of hailstones and the time of year. Soft, fleshy plants are of particular risk; however, woody plants can split and break in some cases. The aftermath of a hailstorm can sometimes be just as problematic because damaged plants may attract other pests, disease and viruses. Glazed frost occurs when precipitation falls, freezing almost instantly when reaching ground levels below zero. The result is a coating of translucent ice around plants. This damages plants because it adds additional weight which the plant is not equipped to support. In severe cases, tree branches break and large plants can be uprooted. Likewise, during heavy snowfall, evergreen tree branches should be kept free of large amounts of snow to avoid breakages.
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Symptoms

The foliage of perennials and annuals may become shredded, torn or knocked off.
In shrubs and trees, twigs and branches may split and break.
Fruits can be damaged and fall to the ground prematurely.
Any damage caused by hail, snow and frost may create opportunity for other organisms to infest the plant.

Biological treatment

Before doing anything, you should always assess the damage. Take into consideration whether the plant will be able to recover, and if so, how long will it take? If you are unsure, snap a picture and ask the Candide community! Prune and clean up accordingly. Any branches snapped or damaged should be removed from trees and shrubs. In some cases, a small wound will be able to heal with some patience. Always clear up damaged fruits or those which have fallen to the ground. Damaged trees should never be fertilized. Applying mulches to plants can help to give them support and protect them from future bad weather spells. If an annual or perennial is severely damaged it should probably just be replaced.
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Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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