Jan 21st, 2016

Preparing Plants for Snow

Acer palmatum 'Hanami Nishiki' with a protective tepee.

Bamboo tepee to protect a this Acer palmatum ‘Hanami Nishiki’ from heavy snowfall.

Got your bread and milk? Now it’s time to prepare your plants for the snow storm. Here are some tips from our horticulturists:

  • If you have a tree or plant that is prone to breaking under the snow, you can gently knock snow off the branches with a broom as the snow accumulates.
  • It’s not a good idea to knock ice off plants — it may damage the plant.
  • With certain trees, branches will break and there’s really not much you can do. But most plants will be fine even if they loose a limb and you can always prune broken limbs later.
  • If you have a special tree that is small enough, like this Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Hanami Nishiki,’ you can create a bamboo pole “tent” or tepee to offer it some protection from the weight of heavy snow.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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