January 28, 2015
As I write this on Sunday, the weather forecast is for a blizzard on Monday night through Tuesday. They are forecasting up to 2 feet of snow. By the time you read this in the paper, we will know how much snow we actually get from this storm.
Snowstorms can raise havoc on our outdoor plants. Snow falling off the roof can damage shrubs and trees. Snow being thrown by a snow blower can cause a lot of damage if enough weight of the snow lands on the plants. Snowplows can push a lot of snow onto your plants. Once the snow has stopped and you have a chance to look at your plants, (provided you can still see the plants after the storm!) you may find broken branches on your plants. If the damage is severe, meaning branches hanging on by a thread or over 25% of the stem damaged, you should cut the damaged branch off. If the branch is a large branch, you should cut the branch off in smaller pieces at a time. If you try to cut the branch near the main stem or trunk of a tree, the weight of the branch can cause the branch to tear near the main stem. This will cause further damage that may be difficult to repair. If the damage is slight, you may be able to wrap the stem with tree wrap. Tree wrap will help to protect the branch and will give the branch some stability. Of course, the larger the branch, the less support that tree wrap will provide. Smaller branches that are damaged can be snipped off with a hand pruner. Larger branches may require lopping shears or a saw to remove the damage.
If your plants are covered with snow, you may be better off leaving the plant under the snow. If you think the snow may have fallen off a roof or if the snow was dumped onto the shrub, you may want to dig out the plant to look for damage. You should use extreme caution when digging out the plant. If you use too much force in digging out the plant, you may cause damage to the plant. If you find damage, then you can deal with it now rather than wait for the spring to show you extensive damage that has gotten worse over time.
All things considered, a blizzard can bring major damage to your plants.
Once the snow has cleared out, it looks like temperatures may be on the cold side. This may make it hard to remove any snow that has turned to ice. If you have pets, conventional rock salt and other ice melt products can harm the paws of your pets and if it is ingested they can cause harm to your pets. There are pet safe de-icing products available that can melt the ice and not cause harm to your pets. We carry pet safe ice melter in our store.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you next week.