Q.The barberry shrub
It is turning into spring here in west Texas and many trees are starting to green up and become very colorful. I planted 4 barberry shrubs in large planters out in front of our house late spring last year. They are not showing any signs of getting new leaves or awakening for spring. Did I do something wrong? Should I cut them down some and see if they return? How do I know if they are gone or still alive?
The first thing to do would be to break the tip of a stem. If it is dry and brittle, keep going down until you find a flexible, or green portion. This will mean that it is still alive, and now would be the time to prune any dead growth off.