how long before I decide the hydrangea are dead

I added two hydrangea to the gardens last year - both were rescues from the discount shelves so I don't have lots of money into them.
But both looked to be thriving in the fall of 2011. But I had an major snow storm at the end of October with out a hard frost first, an open (nearly snowless) winter and early spring snow after many things had bud break.
Both look dead - no leaf buds, but still have some flex to some of the branches.
They are in two entirely different sections of the yard - both well drained soil and enriched holes at the time of planting. One gets late afternoon sun (and that should be true all year). The other is getting full sun now, but will get afternoon shade as the trees leaf out.
So, here is is nearly May, the only other thing with out leaves is the sweet spire (clethera ) which won't break buds for a few weeks yet.
Advice please -
Cheryl southern New Hampshire. Usually a very cold yard Zone 5A with lots of wind
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On 30/04/2012 12:46, Cheryl Isaak wrote:

Scrape a small piece of bark back to see what's underneath. If it's green, it's alive; if brown through to white it's not. It's up to you how far down the branches you go to see what is alive and what isn't.
--

Jeff

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On 4/30/12 8:06 AM, Jeff Layman wrote:

there is still some green ... I'll just be patient for a while yet then
Cheryl
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I don't live where there is regular snow, but we do get hard frosts. the rule of thumb for suspected 'dead' from frost plants is to leave the plnat alone for 2 years. Mind you, I live in the country and plants rate higher on the care factor agenda than any visitor's possible aesthetic sensitivity about seeing a possibly 'dead' plant in their line of sight.
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On 5/1/12 2:02 AM, Farm1 wrote:

LOL - one could be hid from view, the other I put front and center
I can be patient, this is my garden not a public display
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I learned the '2 year rule' from a non gardener. She was a sloth and just didn't get round to removing the 'dead' plant which all of us more keen and supposedly knowledgable gardeners told her should be removed. After 2 years the blasting shrub started resprouting and proved all of us to be liars. Our friend really enjoyed watching as we ate humble pie :-))
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On 4/30/2012 7:46 AM, Cheryl Isaak wrote:

Now that you know your hydrangeas are alive you might be interested in propagating them once they get going:
http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/propagation.html
It is extremely easy to do and has supplied me and sons with new hydrangeas.
Only problem I have with them is deer eating them and I have to protect young plants.
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