Great Gardens- Removing Snow From Brittle Plants

SPOKANE – The snow is often a welcome sight for people in the Inland Northwest, but some plants in your garden need to be snow free.

Most of the larger trees and shrubs can tolerate a lot of snow piled on top of them, and they are comfortable lasting through the winter. However, plants with skinny leaves like the Rhododendron and Japanese lace-leaf Maple need to be cleared of all snow to ensure their survival in the cold winter months.

The reason the snow is detrimental to these plants is because the plants are so brittle that any heavy snow could snap their branches in half. Because they are so fragile, the plants need to be brushed off by hand.

First, remove the snow at the base of the plant so that the branches, which are touching the ground, can be free. Next, gently brush off the snow from the branches, making sure not to tug on the plant or brush too hard.

If you do break a branch in the clearing process, you can put them back together. Take a screw and drill a hole in both halves. Then put the screw in the two sides and tighten a nut on the end of the screw to ensure the pieces are put together tightly.

These plants will grow again if they are screwed together. Otherwise, be gentle with your plants in the snow and be sure to keep up during each snow fall.