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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Wednesday - June 25, 2008

From: Astoria, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Planting, Propagation, Pruning, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Buffaloberry from Grandma
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a "BUFFALO BERRY" that my Grandma brought back from South Dakota.It is approx.8yrs.old.All was well until this spring.It was budding out when we had a very hard freeze and got 3" of snow.Now it seems to be frozen in time.If I scratch the bark,it is still green underneath.Do I cut it back, leave it alone or what? It is not native to this area that I am aware of but it does seem to like it here.

ANSWER:

According to our Native Plant Database on Shepherdia canadensis (russet buffaloberry), it is, indeed, native to Oregon as well as South Dakota. We also found out that it tolerates the poorest of soils and is extremely cold and drought tolerant. So, I don't think your plant is dead, it's just sort of in shock. We would definitely recommend that you cut it back, treating it like transplant shock, removing 1/2 to 1/3 of the top area. Then make sure it gets a good deep drink of water every day or two, and it should begin to recover and put out some leaves. By the way, did you know that the buffaloberry was dioecious, meaning that both male and female bushes must be grown if fruit and seed is desired? However, it's really best propagated by cuttings, so maybe the seeds aren't so important.


Shepherdia canadensis

Shepherdia canadensis

 

 

 

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