With our snowiest month ahead of us, now is a great time to check on your trees and be prepared for the heavy weights to come!
Springtime along the Front Range of Colorado can be a whirlwind of weather changes, that come quickly and drastically! We are blessed with glorious Summer-like days and then just as quickly bombarded with freezing temperatures and massive snowfalls. More moisture in our snows means a lot more weight falling and laying on your plants.
For many plants in our gardens this transitional time of year can be the most challenging time for them.
Here are some great coping strategies from ALCC to help your plants:
Damp snow will cling to every branch and twig, and the cumulative effect can lead to cracked and broken limbs.
If it’s possible to reach high in the tree with a long pole - such as a broom handle that has an extension, it’s a good practice to gently shake snow from the tree.
* Be sure to work from the bottom of the tree upward, so that when snow falls from the higher branches it does not add more weight to already snow-laden lower ones.
Many herbaceous shrubs have weak wood and long, pliable branches that make them susceptible to wind and snow damage. Examples include Russian sage, golden elder, sumac, pussy willow, blue mist spirea and dark night spirea. Any branch that has been broken by the weather (and this includes trees) should be pruned back.
* Rips and breaks are an open invitation to pests and disease of all kinds.
Clean, pruning cuts are the easiest for your plants to heal from.
A little maintenance now can save more work and treatment costs later.
Protect these plants with timely pruning:
Most people prefer to leave dried ornamental grasses standing in the garden for the winter because of the beauty provided by their shape and swaying plumes. Under heavy snows, however, many of these grasses can be crushed, so they should be protected or pruned beforehand.
Broken and bent grasses:
These grasses won’t bounce back to their upright shape, so they should be cut back. Cutting these plants back after a March snowfall is actually good timing since it’s best to have old growth well out of the way before new shoots emerge.
The first day of spring is March 20th!
How much snowfall do you think we’ll log between now and then?
What do you have in your garden that collects snow and makes sweet spaces like this birdhouse?
I'd love to see your yards in the snow!
The Old Farmers Almanac
You never know what cuties you will find once the snow melts away!
*Always be sure to identify mushrooms etc. are safe and non-toxic before touching with bare hands!
"All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar."
- Helen Hayes
Stay safe and warm! Happy Spring!
- Chante, Director of Operations
Wild Heritage Gardens, Ltd.
Unless noted, all photos by Chante Ash©