Protecting trees and shrubs
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URBANA -- During winter,
the threat of snow or ice damage is always near for trees and
shrubs, warned a University of Illinois Extension horticulture
"One way to prevent damage to trees and
shrubs is by removing snow after each snowfall," said Sharon Yiesla.
"This helps to prevent snow from piling up to dangerously heavy
"When removing snow, try to gently
brush it off. Don't shake the branches, as this may cause them to
break. This is especially true for evergreens, which can collect
excessive amounts of snow."
Yiesla noted that if snow is frozen on
the branch and will not brush off easily, it is best to let it melt
naturally to avoid damage to the tree or shrub.
"Relatively little can be done to
prevent ice damage," she said. "On small-to-medium evergreen shrubs,
pour warm -- not hot -- water over the ice to attempt to loosen it.
This will not always be effective. It can also be a messy process
since the water will freeze below the plant and may become a safety
hazard if people are walking nearby."
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If tree limbs break due to the weight
of ice or snow, it is advisable to have the broken limbs removed as
soon as the weather permits. Hanging branches can be a danger to
"The tree will be able to heal the
wound better in spring if the wound has clean edges instead of
ragged tears," she noted.
[University of Illinois news