If we can learn anything from history, we have not seen the last of snowfalls in our area this winter! Evergreen trees and shrubs like Leyland Cypress, Arborvitae and others suffer from branches bending or even breaking when snow accumulates on their wide branches. The pressure caused by the weight of the snow can result in shifting, breakage and even the felling of trees. Brush wet snow off evergreens as it accumulates, or as soon as possible after a winter storm by using a broom in an upward, sweeping motion. If breakage happens (or did happen during our last heavy snow), do some selective pruning in early spring to remove any damaged branches.
The harsh winter winds that often accompany snowfall can be terribly hard on roses. Be sure the canes of climbing roses are fastened securely to protect them from being blown over. Shrub roses can be wrapped in muslin or burlap that we sell in 3’x12’ rolls to help hold the canes together. Lots of rose growers use this trick, knowing that working as one unit instead of individual canes, they will be stronger and better able to hold up against snow loads and strong wind.
Another weather tip for your garden: Spring bulbs like daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, tulips and others can easily become confused with the weather fluctuations we’ve been experiencing this winter. Warm spring-like temps can fool the bulbs into thinking it’s time to emerge, and green shoots will start appearing, only to be covered in frost and snow the next day! Adding a bit of mulch can prevent this from happening. In this case, the mulch will keep the soil cooler more consistently so an occasion warmer spell is less likely to expose it.
Have other winter weather questions? Just ask an associate for help with any concerns you have about particular plants. We are always happy to help!