by Leslie Cox; Monday; February 13, 2017

When shrubs and trees are laden with snow…especially our typical moisture-laden snow the Pacific Northwest is famous for…it is prudent to knock it off the branches before too much has accumulated. This will hopefully minimize any damage to your plants.


But…and it is a big BUT…there is a right way and a wrong way to brush snow off shrubs and trees. Go about it wrong and you risk breaking branches the snow had only bent.

So…arm yourself with a broom…preferably a corn broom, which is stiff enough to be effective but soft enough to be fairly gentle on the plants.

Always sweep upward to knock the snow off. Never, ever use a downward motion! Doing so puts more pressure on bent branches already under weight-stress from their snow load. Adding more and you risk breaking the branch…or branches.

Now…if you have pushed the broom up under some branches and the snow won’t budge…then unfortunately it is frozen and there to stay until the temperatures warm up enough to start a thaw. Whatever you do…DO NOT shake the shrub or tree! You risk doing serious damage to the plant in its frozen state. Walk away…and pray for the plant…and a quick thaw!

One last note…by the end of the snow season, you may have to go out and buy yourself…or your spouse…a new corn broom. But really, it is a small price to pay if the broom has saved your plants from serious damage.