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Snow, Ice and Trees

The trees in your yard are your pride and joy, the centerpiece of all your summer landscaping efforts. Now, after the one-two punch of thick snow and heavy ice we had yesterday and last night, your beloved trees are drooping. Bent and sagging, maybe even broken or toppled over, under all that weight.

Now what?

Do not shake limbs to remove frozen snow or ice.

It’s best to wait until temperatures rise above freezing because it may cause breakage or damage. Plants are flexible, so knocking off the weight of the snow and ice may cause them to “snap” back, potentially damaging the circulatory system. Have a certified arborist examine damaged branches for signs of weakness.

Removing snow and ice from shrubs.

If shrubs are weighed down with snow, sweep the snow off the branches with a broom. Always sweep upward. Sweeping from the top down can result in more broken branches. If the snow is frozen onto branches and will not easily dislodge by sweeping, allow it to melt naturally. Don’t shake trees and shrubs to remove snow.

Have broken limbs removed safely. 

Hanging branches can be a danger to people and property. Once the snow has melted, have the damage assessed. If a limb broke from the weight of ice or snow, have it removed and the stub properly cut. Cutting in the wrong place can lead to decay, failure in future storms, and tree death. Trees and shrubs bent, but not broken, will often recover without special care.

Prevention is key.

Proper trimming is one way and the removal of hazardous, dead or weak branches. 


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