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Snow Damage - Prevention and Cure
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<Chris reid>
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Greetings,

A recent wet, heavy snow and the resultant splayed shrubs has caused a small surge in my master gardener egroup's discussion of snow damage, snow removal, and the pros and cons of disturbing the snow-laden shrub or tree.

I am placing a link to this bulletin board in my egroup, because I think the information people post is tremendously useful, and invite anyone with experience and information on this topic to respond.

Some say that the shrub should not be disturbed because damage may occur. Supporting this idea would be the fact that people tend to push the branch down further rather than brushing upwards, further burdening the branch. Timing of removal also seems at question, with some saying "as soon as possible after the storm," others saying "during the storm while the temperatures are warmer than they will be when it stops,". Outdoor temperature is said to be a factor -- cold temperatures making the branches more brittle and increasing the risk of breakage.

As to prevention, numerous sources recommend tying the shrubs with twine or nylon stockings or bracing the branches from below (as the Japanese do). Are there pros and cons to this technique? Can it safely be done in cold weather, or should it be accomplished earlier in the season?

I have been told by one arborist that he purposely leaves dead branches in spruce and other conifers to help support the live branches in heavy snowfall.

Thanks and a very happy new year to all.

Chris Reid
 
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Tree Tech Consulting    The Knothole  Hop To Forum Categories  General Arboriculture    Snow Damage - Prevention and Cure

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