Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow and Ice: Tips for Managing your Landscape

Fellow Landscape Enthusiasts: Welcome to my Blog

The current weather has me spending more time in my office, so I thought this would be as good a time as any to start a blog.

Snow and ice cover our local landscape and have for almost the entire winter. We are still installing landscapes and hardscapes in this weather, but we can't work as much as we would like to.

I have had several conversations lately with clients and industry professionals about the effects of ice and snow on our landscape plants. Generally speaking, the situation is not as bad as some may think. Ice is the biggest threat. If some limbs get broken on a woody shrub or tree, prune the broken limbs back to a point of attachement. Just remember to cut back to a major side shoot and don't leave a stub. However, if the limbs are only bent, they will most likely straighten on their own. If a branch or limb gets pulled significantly out of shape, try tying it back in shape.

Many smaller shrubs are buried under the snow and ice. "Smashed flat and smothered". Not to fear, fellow gardeners. Relax and let nature take care of itself. Everything under the snowy ice is going to be fine ... mostly. Plants buried in the snow are protected from the dry winter winds, and also benefit from the moisture as the snow melts. If a small plant gets crushed, cut it back to the ground. By late summer it will look better than ever. I would recommend knocking the snow off large shrubs to help maintain their shape. But, the smaller plants under the snow, leave them alone.

Relax, and it will all work out. Spring will be here, better than ever, and right on schedule.

Until the snow is melted,

Bill Garren
540-392-2614 or

No comments:

Post a Comment