Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow and Ice Removal Tips for Plants, Trees, and Shrubs

/24-7/ -- Winter is not the time when most people focus on their yards; however, it is a time of year when a lot of damage can happen. The nation's lawn and landscape association, the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), wants people to know how to care for plants, trees, and shrubs during the winter. Winter yard tips include the following:

Continue watering. Just because it isn't hot, doesn't mean that plants don't need water. Continue watering until a hard freeze. A well-hydrated plant has a better chance of survival.

Don't shake branches covered with snow and ice. It is best to gently brush off snow. Shaking limbs may break them. Wait for ice and frozen snow to melt naturally. If a limb does break, have it removed as soon as weather permits. It will help the tree or shrub heal better in the spring.

Watch out for winter warm spells. It is normally not a problem if you get a few warm days in the middle of winter; however, if you covered plants with cones or cold frames, you may want to ventilate them during the day and cover them again at night.

Prune. Late winter is a good time to prune and shape ornamental trees and roses.

Another thing to think about in the winter is the use of salt or melting agents for snow and ice.

"Many people put salt and melting agents on their sidewalks and driveways without realizing that the runoff can damage trees, shrubs, and lawns," said PLANET member Brett Lemcke, Landscape Industry Certified Manager of R.M. Landscape, Inc., in Hilton, New York. "Salt damages plants mainly by drawing water away from their roots."

Evergreen trees are particularly sensitive to salt. Look for brown needles or leaves on trees and shrubs; they are signs of damage. Building barriers to protect the plants from runoff and adding more sand and gravel to the salt mix will help minimize damage.

"If you have a difficult area to deice safely, you can always consult a professional," said Lemcke. "Many landscape and lawn care companies do this type of work for their clients in the winter."

For more information, or to find a lawn and landscape professional, log on to

PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With more than 3,500 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals. For more information on PLANET, visit or call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter: @GAFrontPage

No comments: