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Are You Ready for Snow?

Snow is in the forecast here for Sunday and Monday. Our nighttime temps have already been dipping pretty low at night. Be prepared!

Snow on top of leaves is a mess. Wet leaves take time to dry out, become heavy and even slimy. If your yard is covered with leaves, it will save you time and trouble in the long run to deal with them before it snows. For leaves on the lawn, a smart move is to mulch them with a mulching lawn mower. The fragments left behind are good nutrition for the lawn. In beds, you'll also be ahead of the game by raking most of the leaves out. Work especially at cleaning out ground cover.

Deal with trees. Storm damage is more likely to occur on trees that haven't yet dropped all their leaves. Snow can build up, weigh down the branches, and cause breakage. If you see snow accumulating and you can reach branches on smaller trees, use a broom handle to gently shake limbs so snow falls off. Start on the lowest branches and work up. Otherwise, snow falling from higher onto lower branches just adds to their snow load that leads to breakage.

Don't forget evergreens. In very heavy snows, evergreen branches can also break. Keep an eye on them during heavy snows and shake their branches as well.

Protect and wrap young trees. It is important to protect young trees before the cold takes over. Wrapping thinner, young tree trunks up to the first branches with commercial tree wrap in late fall can protect the plant from winter sunscald and frost.

Prune to prevent more storm damage and decay. It's always best to have broken, ripped limbs pruned back with a clean cut. Otherwise, torn limbs can invite pests and disease.

Some things you should not prune. Shrubs that flower early in the spring have already set the buds that will become pretty flowers. Avoid pruning lilac, dogwood, forsythia, viburnum and spirea in the fall or you will see fewer flowers next spring.

A little time spent now, before a snow, and then again immediately after, can go a long ways to ensure your lawn, shrubs, and trees survive the winter and thrive next spring and summer.


Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. (2020, Oct. 23). Tip of the week (email newsletter).

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