Winter storms producing wet, heavy snow and ice can significantly damage trees and shrubs. Healthy, well-managed trees and shrubs are resilient, but some careful action by the homeowner can minimize the potential for damage.
- Long-handled broom or garden tool
- Lopping shears
- Pruning saw
- Starting with branches no higher than you can reach, use gentle, upward strokes to remove the snow from the branch(es) with the broom or your hand.
- Alternately, use the handle of the broom or garden tool to gently lift the branch from underneath to dislodge the snow.
- Do not shake the branch; tree and shrub branches are brittle in winter and can easily break or split.
- Do not attempt to remove ice – allow it to melt off.
- Do not use a ladder to extend your reach.
- If branches are broken or damaged already, prune only those branches required to remove immediate safety hazards; to minimize further winter damage, complete any repair pruning in late winter just before the growing season.
- Consult an arborist or tree service to prune branches higher than you can reach and fallen limbs on cars, houses, and electrical wires.