NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 5, 2014

Tim's Tips: Melting snow likely to reveal damaged plants

Well, so much for our hope that it would warm up as soon as we got into the month of March! It will warm up eventually.

I’m sure that there will be a lot of damage to our trees and shrubs from all the snow and from the cold temperatures we have had this winter. Once the snow melts, you should be looking at your plants to see if there are damaged branches that need to be pruned back or removed.

Unfortunately, shoveling snow off the roof can cause damage if the snow and ice lands on your shrubs or trees. There has been so much snow that the act of pushing the snow back to make more room for more snow can cause damage to any shrubs under the snow that is being pushed back.

There will be damage to your plants that will need to be dealt with once the snow melts. You should be sharpening up those hand pruners and loping shears now so that when the time comes, you can remove any damaged parts of your shrubs.

As many of you have found out, it has been very difficult to buy ice-melting products. There has been a nationwide demand for these products, and manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with the demand. I know that several of my distributors who supply ice-melting products have decided to not bring in any more product.

The reasoning is that by the time they get the product in and get it out to the stores, the retail customer will no longer have a need for the product. This doesn’t mean you won’t find these products, it just means that it will be extremely difficult to find them.

So how do you deal with ice? As messy as it can be, you may have to resort to putting sand onto the ice. We have been selling bags of sand for quite a while. It does work, but, yes, you will have a problem with it tracking into the house. The alternative is to take a nasty fall and then have to deal with injuries.

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