NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 13, 2013

Tim's Tips: Protect trees and shrubs during storm cleanup

Well, I guess we a got a bit of snow! Shoveling that much snow should qualify as a few days at the gym.

With all that snow blocking the view, you may have a tough time recalling that you have shrubs in your yard. The deep snow can present a few problems for them. The amount of snow can weigh down the branches of arborvitae and other multi-stem plants. As the snow builds up on a branch, its weight tends to cause the branch to fall off.

Your first instinct may be to shake the branch or to knock the snow off of it with a broom. These plants will be brittle from the cold weather that we have had after the storm. A hard whack with a broom or a vigorous shake could cause a branch to snap. It is better to carefully dig out around the branch and then gently brush off the excess snow. The branch will ultimately go back into position if there was no permanent damage.

With the amount of snow on your home’s roof, some of you will have to shovel it off in order to protect the structure. If you do shovel the roof, be careful not to push or throw the snow onto the shrubs that are planted around the house. The heavy snow, dropped from the height of the roof, can cause major harm.

Several years ago, when we had a winter with a lot of snowfall, many shrubs were damaged this way. I know it can be a major job to remove that snow as I spent part of Sunday using my roof rake to get at the snow. But the shrubs that you have planted around your home are a major investment; don’t throw that investment away because you need to shovel off the roof.

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