Dealing with Late Spring Snow

This past weekend's snowfall dealt a blow to many Colorado landscapes. By now, you have likely taken stock of the visible damage and handled any serious tree or shrub damage. But what to do about the long term effects of late season snow? The key is patience. We have to let nature take its course before we decide what to do.


The Bad News

Spring-blooming plants like common lilac, forsythia, and dogwood are likely to be most impacted by the cold temperatures. For some low-growing perennials, the snow may have helped insulate them from frost and freeze.


Fruit trees in Colorado are always at risk of losing their fruit from late spring storms. Sometimes the snow may be an insulating factor, but you might have lost some branches due to the weight of the snowfall. The prevailing advice: wait and see.


Pruning any spring-flowering plants now will not "force" more blooms. They set their blooms only one time of year and that is in late summer.


The Good News

In a snowstorm, turf grass is one worry-free plant. If you have applied granular fertilizer to the lawn, moisture from this snowstorm will activate it. The moisture will push nutrients into the soil where roots can absorb them.


The microclimate, exposure, and protection for each plant also factors into how the plants weather the storm. Plants in warm, more protected locations may fare better than those more exposed to the elements. Because there are are so many factors, the outcome for some plants is simply, again, "wait and see."


While we may enjoy less color this year, there's still a silver lining in this cloud. Mother Nature gave some thirsty landscapes a much-needed dousing of moisture!



References

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2019, May 24). Tip of the Week: Dealing with late-spring snow. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email

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