Leave your Plants Buried under the Snow

by Gene Sumi, Homestead Education Coordinator

The first thing people think about when they see their favorite trees and shrubs buried under wet snow is to rescue them, but let’s examine the notion of an immediate rescue more closely.

The “victims” of a crushing snow pack are probably injured, but will we do more harm to them by physically removing the snow, no matter how gently we do it?  I look at this as being similar to a case of not trying to move a badly injured person for fear of causing more serious injury to them. Plants that suffer broken branches are not likely to die.  Just let the situation stay as it is and wait for the thaw to melt the snow in place.  Then the total amount of damage can be assessed and the propping up or pruning away of the damaged parts of the plant can begin.  Unlike animals, plant can’t get out of the way when danger comes, but nature provides for them the means to recover – even from heavy damage.

(Adrian Higgins agrees.) Photo by Miss Leslie

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