Snow removal from shrubs

Q. Should I remove snow from my shrubs?

A. It is not necessary to remove light amounts of snow from trees and shrubs. However, heavy snowfalls threaten to break branches, especially on evergreens because they collect large amounts of snow. When Mother Nature delivers winter storms, gently brush off the snow off by hand or use a broom to very gently remove it. Do not shake branches because they are brittle at this time of year and may break easily. If ice has accumulated on your shrubs, allow it to melt instead of attempting to remove it. Do not disturb any limbs that may be frozen to the ground. Upright trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, that remain bent after accumulated snow and ice have melted, should eventually straighten themselves. To prevent injury from heavy snow and ice loads in the future, smaller trees and shrubs can be wrapped with a soft twine to keep multiple leaders together and lessen the chance of accumulation. All broken branches will need to be removed. If the damage is severe and threatens the overall health of the tree or presents a safety hazard, the broken branches should be removed as soon as possible. If the damage is minimal, the broken branches should be removed at the appropriate time of the year.