Winter injury is any damage done to the landscape during the cold season of the year. The injury may be due to natural causes or to human error. It may be predictable or totally unexpected. At times, winter injury can be avoided whereas at other times it can only be accepted and dealt with. It affects most elements of the outdoor room: plants, paving, steps, furnishings, and plumbing are all susceptible to damage. This discussion will center around the types of winter injury common to plants. However, it is important for the landscaper to guard against winter injury to all elements of the garden.
There are two general categories of winter injury: natural and human-induced. The examples that follow are common to most landscapes where the winter is severe.