Heavy ice and snow storms can quickly damage trees and shrubs. However, an over-zealous homeowner can do more damage by trying to free a branch bowed over by ice or snow. When the ice and snow come, the best advice is to do nothing.
Generally, a healthy plant has enough resilience to literally bounce back from the weighty stress of ice or snow. Branches that are most likely damaged are those already weak or overgrown and in dire need of pruning.
Knocking away ice or snow with a broom, shovel, or stock can easily tear into bark or cause the already brittle and over-weighted branch to break. A few degrees Fahrenheit and a bit of sun usually works wonders in just a few hours.
There is something you can do before the storm and that is prune away weak, overgrown, or dead branches, especially those hanging over sidewalks and driveways. This is solid landscape advice.
If you need supplies to work or getting your landscape in order, come by your local Stockdale’s. We have a great selection of hand pruners, bow saws, loping shears, pruning paint, pole pruners, safety glasses, and similar supplies. Prune back now to avoid damage from ice and snow storms.