If you look around, you can see new growth emerging from trees and shrubs. Many of you may be anxiously awaiting to see sprouting from plants damaged by flooding from Hurricane Matthew. Patience may be the best advice I can offer you along with the words that follow.
Excess salts taken up by plants accumulate at the tips of stems and the edges of leaves. If you have a barren plant, scrap its branch tips to see if there is green cambium under the bark. If no green is observed continue down the plant until green is hopefully found. If you do identify dead areas on the plant these can be pruned out.
Typically, the entire landscape is fertilized in spring. Do not feed salt-damaged plants until they show signs of growth. These plants will have a compromised root system. Feeding the plant will only encourage growth to emerge, which will need to be supported by a limited root system. You may overwhelm the damaged root system making matters worse.
Rain has been lacking lately, and roots grow best in moist soil. Make sure the soil around your damaged plant is moist but not overly wet. A weekly soaking will help to accomplish this. Roots also like to be kept cool. Maintaining a layer of mulch around plants you are trying to nurse back to good health will be beneficial.
Spring is the time of year when most plants sense that it is time to send out new growth. Investigate your damaged plants for green underneath its bark. Remove identified dead sections of the plant and keep the soil moist to encourage root rejuvenation.
Above all else, be patient and allow desirable plants time to rejuvenate and recuperate.