Gardening Shrubs Staking plants Trees Winter Protection

Garden Fail: Knocking Snow Off Bent Branches

If possible, just leave weighed-down branches alone. Source: Claire Tourigny, from the book Les 1500 trucs du jardinier paresseux

When snow or ice bends the branches of trees, shrubs and conifers, the best thing to do is … nothing at all!

Trying to clear snow or (especially) ice off a bent branch with a broom or shovel can do more damage than the weight of the snow/ice itself, as wood becomes brittle at temperatures below freezing. Even manually straightening the limb may cause the wood to crack.

When a thaw occurs, the branches almost always return to their original shape. And if some were to remain a bit bent, a temporary stake, added for a week or two in the spring, will usually be enough to get them back in shape.

Of course, if the weighed-down branch is blocking access to your walk or is otherwise in the way, you’ll have little choice but to try to raise it (but try a broom rather than a shovel). Otherwise, just let Ma Nature do her job!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

0 comments on “Garden Fail: Knocking Snow Off Bent Branches

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: