I awoke this morning to a beautiful winter wonderland outside my door. But the row of Leland cypresses along the east side of my property would beg to differ. They clearly were suffering.

Look at how all the branches are pointing downward, buckling under the weight of the 16 inches of snow that fell over the past 24 hours. And that sorry looking one in the center of the row is down on its knees, as if it's bowing before royalty.

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It's extremely important to get out there as soon as possible and gently brush off the snow with a broom. Otherwise, trees -- especially the super-vulnerable Arborvitaes -- may never regain their posture. Branches might even break.

I was on my way in to work this morning when I took this picture, with no time for the task. But my kids will be in for a rude awakening --- literally, as they're sleeping in on their second snow day -- when I call them in about an hour to send them out there with brooms.

Photo by Jessica Damiano