It’s been a rough week in the Philadelphia area. We started with I think 8 or so inches of snow on Monday, then we got serious ice on Wednesday. There have been tons of people with fallen trees, downed power lines, and no electricity. Luckily, I’ve had power, and haven’t had to go anywhere! But, one of the things I did need to do was brave the snow and ice to save some of my trees.
When the snow comes down like it did on Monday, wet and packable, it can be absolutely beautiful. It sticks to the trees and makes everything look magical. But that heavy snow can do serious damage to your trees and plants. The weight of the snow crushes the branches, breaking, or sometimes permanently damaging, the plant. Thankfully, you can take some steps to deal with the snow, and that’s just what I did this week, before the ice came.
Once the snow stopped, and I saw how badly the trees were crushed, I went outside with my trusty broom and tried to get as much snow off as possible. It’s really a pretty easy job…usually. You just start by brushing off as much as you can from the tree. Sometimes, that’s enough for the branches to bounce back into shape. But, with the snow we had, I had to take it a step further. I had to shake some of the branches, pushing them around to try and get the snow to fall. Unfortunately, the best leverage is usually under the tree, where you get rained on, or snowed on in this case, coming out soaking wet. And trust me, you won’t need to go to the gym afterwards, it’s great cardio! 🙂
Getting that snow off as quickly as possible can save the trees and plants. The extra weight very easily breaks tender branches. And, even if the branches aren’t broken, they can be damaged, sometimes even permanently bent one way or another. The faster you can get the weight off so they can return to normal, the more likely you can save the shape, and also the more likely the branches won’t break. The branches may need to be cut eventually if they are stuck a certain way, and the tree may also need a severe prune, or worse. But save that for later, after the tree has had a chance to try and bounce back. Then you can assess the damages.
So the next time you get a snow storm, unfortunately you may need to venture out for a little while. But, in the spring, when the garden looks great and you’ve forgotten about the snow, it will be all worth it.
If you experienced storms in your area, I hope you were safe this week, and this winter for that matter! It’s been a cold and snowy one! I love the snow, but….when is it spring?!?!?!