Selecting strong trees the first step: This year many yards have taken a beating! Between the heavy snow that hit last fall while our trees were still full of leaves and the sub-zero temperatures from last month’s “polar vortex,” Northeastern Ohio homeowners may be wondering how to protect their trees. Forestry.com suggests several ways to ice- and snow-proof trees, with the most important step being selecting strong species in the first place — trees that can handle the weight of snow and ice.
Don’t try to shake off heavy snow or ice, warns Melinda Meyers in an online article about managing snow and ice damage. You can create more damage to the tree than would otherwise occur. She also advises against using pruning paint on trees whose branches have been ripped away by heary snowfall.
Virginia’s Village Landscapes suggests the right way to remove snow from shrubs and trees. Each time an inch or two of snow accumulates on your plants, use a broom or your hands to sweep it off in an upward motion, allowing the loosened snow to fall. But, they warn, leave ice alone. Wait out the storm, and then assess the tree for damage.
All these experts suggest bringing in an arborist to perform corrective pruning — whether the tree has already been injured by ice or snow, or to strengthen vulnerable trees to prevent future damage.