Garden Detective

Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.

Protect your trees from snow and ice

Snow should be removed from evergreen branches to

Snow should be removed from evergreen branches to avoid buckling and breakage. (Jan. 21, 2012) (Credit: Jessica Damiano)

Be sure to get outside and (gently) knock the snow off your evergreens -- otherwise the weight of the snow (especially after it freezes, and you know it will) will buckle and maybe even break branches.

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And while you're out there shoveling your walk or driveway, pile the snow onto perennial beds (as long as you haven't salted). It will insulate plant roots and crowns nicely. Then take a look around and prune any tree or shrub branches that are broken. Otherwise, a gust of wind could tear them off and send them flying toward your house, car or body. Plus, that would leave a nasty gash in the tree that would be susceptible to rot, pests and disease. An ounce of prevention ...

After you've done that, you can go back inside. Put on a pot of tea and rotate houseplant pots to keep them from bending toward the light and getting misshapen. Do that every time you water. Also inspect indoor plants for pests, taking care to check under leaves where many prefer to live.

Stay warm, everyone.

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