Answer: This mahonia, according to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" is hardy to ten degrees below zero. Snow is a good insulator and should not in and of itself cause a problem. This plant naturally bronzes during the winter, so that may be what you are seeing. However, it also tends to scorch when sunlight is reflected off snow and to drying out under windy circumstances. A newly planted plant is more susceptible to winter stress due to its still developing root system, too. At this point you might be patient and see how it turns out when the new growth starts again. Trim away any truly dead wood but allow the plant some time to recover. Next winter, you could try using an antitranspirant and possibly provide it with some shade and see if the coloring/foliage holds better for you. Also, take care that it is well watered during the fall so that it is fully hydrated when the cold weather hits.
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