Prevent Ice and Snow Damage
to Trees and Shrubs
As we get into winter, the threat of damage from snow and ice is
always near. Prevent damage to trees and shrubs by removing snow
after each snow fall. This helps to prevent snow from piling up
to dangerously heavy loads. When removing snow, try to gently brush
it off. Don’t shake the branches as this may cause them to
break. This is especially true for evergreens which can collect
excessive amounts of snow. If the snow is frozen on the branch and
will not brush off easily, it is best to let it melt naturally,
to avoid damage to the tree or shrub.
Relatively little can be done to prevent ice damage. On small
to medium evergreen shrubs, pour warm (not hot) water over the ice
to attempt to loosen it. This will not always be effective. It can
also be a messy process since the water will freeze below the plant
and may become a safety hazard if people are walking nearby.
If tree limbs break due to the weight of ice or snow, it is advisable
to have the broken limbs removed as soon as the weather permits.
Hanging branches can be a danger to passing pedestrians. Also, the
tree will be able to heal the wound better in spring, if the wound
has clean edges, instead of ragged tears.
December 2004 - January 2005: Choosing
a Christmas Tree Variety | Diseases and
Insects of Shrubs and Small Trees | Catalogs
are Arriving, Plan Your Spring Garden Now | Keeping
Holiday Plants | Prevent Ice and Snow Damage to Trees and Shrubs