Inquire a Master Gardener: Evergreens bounce back from weighty snow loads

Q: Our mugo pine tree is greatly weighed down by the new snow. Ought to we knock the snow off the branches, or leave it by yourself? Will it be misshapen following this?

A: Large snow and ice can lead to hurt to both equally deciduous and evergreen trees, but trees are typically tougher than we picture and recuperate from staying bent in excess of.

It’s frequently greatest to go away branches by itself if they are included with ice, because striving to take away it can do more damage than great, breaking branches and harmful needles. But if it’s just gentle snow, you can take out it gently. Instead than knocking on the branches or shaking the bush or tree, brush the snow off with a broom. Do that in advance of fresh, delicate snow has a prospect to compact and adhere to the branches.

If branches on a deciduous tree or evergreen are damaged and ragged, prune them back again.

In the upcoming, you can support avoid destruction to branches that are likely to get weighed down by snow by tying them to the trunk prior to winter season sets in. Use tender, wide strips of fabric. Evergreen shrubs with multiple stems or a tall, slender form can be wrapped with a smooth wire to maintain the branches bunched jointly. Shrubs planted up coming to each and every other can be wrapped or tied together. Remove the ties in spring.

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As for no matter if your mugo pine will get well its condition, I’m optimistic. I have a pretty tall, really skinny column-shaped juniper, and one particular calendar year the excess weight of the snow bent fifty percent of it out at almost a 90-degree angle. It stayed that way the moment the snow was long gone. We coaxed it back up gently and tied it to the element that was nonetheless upright, and a pair of decades afterwards it looks as good as new.

Most of the time, you don’t need to have to consider these types of drastic actions to restore the appears to be of evergreen trees that have been bent out of form by snow or ice. Evergreens are likely to be resilient and flexible and will commonly occur back again into shape on their very own at some point. Ordinarily, it’s ideal to be client and permit them do this rather than bending them.

Written by U of M Extension Learn Gardeners in St. Louis County. Send out inquiries to

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