Friday, December 18, 2009

Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow......

As I write this post, there is 14" of snow in my front yard and the snow is still falling. I just love the snow but my plants can be damaged by severe winter weather. The large Southern Magnolia in my front yard has already had three limbs broken and the heavy, wet snow could do more damage before its all over. The boxwoods just in front of my house also look awful.
While it's true that heavy, wet snows and ice often cause broken branches, snow itself will not hurt landscape plants. In fact, the opposite is true. Snow is a very good insulator against chilling temperatures that may injure plants.
If you are concerned about injury to your favorite plants from the settling snow, protect them by scooping the snow away from the plant. Then, with gloved hands, carefully remove the snow from the branches. Natural snowfall or windblown snow seldom result in plant injury. It's usually the devices we use to remove snow that cause the most damage.
If snow is dumped on plants, it may be better to leave it than to try to remove it to prevent further breakage of the branches. If you do have branches break out of trees and shrubs, be sure to prune the broken limbs as soon as possible after the storm has passed.
For more information, call your local extension agent.

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