December 25, 2009….Merry Christmas everyone.
What a beautiful two days of winter scenery….especially if you have planted some conifer trees on your grounds so they can mix with their brethren naked this time of the year. But there comes a point where, like sugar, too much of something gets sickening or at least tiresome.
Thirty plus inches of snow is quite beyond that point.
I have just come into the house from my grounds where for the past hour and a half I have been gently pushing this or that branch, losing my balance sliding down slopes, or have been dumped on by an unexpected avalanche of white tonnage dislodged from some place up above me.
And it is still snowing.
The setting has always excited me. Even when I thought I would die shoveling the stuff for twenty five cents a job when I was twelve. I hated the shoveling then, but I just loved “being there”……..outside…best of all in a good snow storm, a blizzard…or least when it is snowing as it is now as I look out my window.
It is the lure…drawing me as it has always, to join again, all the flakes out there.
What about the plants trying to stand up amid all this turmoil? What should the home owner be doing? What was I, a professional landscape gardener doing out there in the tundra wrestling with nature and nature’s plants?
Being there, as I explained, and keeping busy so I can stay “being there”….outdoors in the snow storm.
Do I accomplish any good by this keeping busy removing snow from my evergreens? Well, sometimes yes. Winter ice is very damaging to a wide number of trees and shrubs, expecially the conifers. Often the damage isn’t noticed until a year or two after the storm when entire branches may die suddenly from cracked or broken trunks or stems which went unnoticed. Some upright conifers simply break in half from being bent over by snow and ice.
To this point in the present storm, the snow has been less wet than others. But, what is forecasted for this evening….sleet and some rain is cause for worry.
Added to the great mounds of snow now tolerated by your favorite trees and shrubs from the beautiful snowfall of the past twenty four hours, the weight of ice and freezing rain, particularly with wind, might be crushing.
What should one do?
First, learn to enjoy being there. out doors in a beautfully arranged setting during snowfall. Bring an indoor sweeping broom with you….one with rather soft bristles. Begin to rustle very gently the branches of your arborvitaes, junipers, hemlock and such where the foliage is at the outside of the tree or shrub. Carefully, from below or to the side, rock the main branches which hold the larger masses of snow on their foliage. Enjoy watching the blobs of snow drop to the ground as the branches regain their stature. Warming….you might have to dodge some.
Do not put pressure at any point of the branch near the middle of the arc of the bending branch between the trunk and the mass of weight caused by the snow covered foliage, as you may easily snap and break the branch outright with your broom.
Unless there is an ice storm expected you may want to do nothing more than walk along your garden path enjoying all of the seasonal embience of walking in the snow.
If ice is on its way, get your gentle broom and do as I have recommended above. Ice storms and their relatives can be unbelievably disastrous to woody plants.
Of course, if you have grounds, no matter big or small, and those grounds display little or no beauty in winter or any other time of the year, do call us at Masterpiece Landscaping, Ltd: 952 933 5777 Or the guys directly at:
Chris 612 919 5302
Mike 612 919 0418
Josh P. 612 919 0419 and Merry Christmas
Josh J. 612 919 2101