The heavy load of snow and ice can cause damage by breaking branches. Some of the most vulnerable plants to these conditions are boxwood, arborvitae and yews. Never attempt to remove frozen ice on branches or loosen branches frozen to the ground. You should also resist the temptation to remove snow or ice by shaking branches which could cause breakage of limbs and tender plant tissue, especially when branches are frozen. Normal amounts of snowfall usually melt or dry naturally therefore there is no need to remove snow.
As temperatures begin to warm during the spring, begin assessing the amount of damage done to trees and shrubs by snow and ice. If your shrubs do experience winter damage prune any broken branches with a neat, clean cut. This will allow the plant to heal better. There is no need to apply anything to properly pruned branches and limbs as the plant will naturally heal.
Spring is also a good time to begin fertilizing shrubs and trees with a general purpose slow release granular fertilizer. Damaged trees and shrubs should be watered during dry periods in the summer to prevent further injury.
Salt used for sidewalks and roads in winter can cause damage or aggravate shrubs and trees as well. Salt runoff can injure roots and be absorbed by the plant, which can damage new spring foliage. Salt causes soil to become more acidic (lower pH level). If you are concerned with the levels of salt in the soil you should get a soil test. To lower the acidic level in your soil you will need to add lime. Irrigate your soil with fresh water prior to adding lime to help flush salt away from roots.
Proper pruning in the fall to remove weak branches will also reduce the chances of damage during winter. Make this part of your fall clean-up routine.
If you are concerned about your plants health, please fill out your information in the CONTACT section and one of our representatives will schedule a free consultation with you.
If your questions were not addressed here, please contact Brian Jones with Scenic Green and he will gladly answer your questions. Please LIKE us on Facebook to get more information regarding your landscaping.