The official first day of spring is just 5 days away!
BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH! :-)
Springtime in the Rockies is usually a somewhat exasperating roller-coaster ride of nice days with warmer temps and colder days that bring heavy snows.
This week is exactly that, with today being near 70 degrees, and snow predicted for St. Patrick's Day!
It's a good time to be assessing and thinking about the care of your landscaping, as these swings in weather can be a challenging time of transition for shrubs and trees. The moisture is great for our dry climate, but the weight of spring snow can be damaging for many of our plants.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the season:
After a storm, try to gently shake snow from the tree. Use a long-handled broom or rake to get as high as possible. Be sure to work from the bottom of the tree upward, so that when snow falls from the higher branches it does not add more weight to already snow-laden lower ones. Broken or cracked branches should be pruned - it may be best to call for a professional to help with this, as many trees require specific techniques for the continued health of the tree.
Right now, the trees haven't leafed out, but when they do, remember that they will then hold even more snow.
If there is a hard freeze after trees bud (leaf or flower), remember that it will likely kill those buds. Leaves will come back from a secondary bud, but flowers will not. If it is a fruit-bearing tree, this also generally means fruit loss.
Many herbaceous shrubs have weak wood and long, pliable branches that make them susceptible to wind and snow damage.
Any branch that has been broken by the weather should be pruned back. Those rips and breaks are an open invitation to pests and disease of all kinds.
Many people prefer to leave dried ornamental grasses standing in the garden for the visual interest they provide. Heavy snows will crush them so pruning before or right after is best, as they won't bounce back to their upright shape once damaged. Removing the old growth before new shoots emerge is a best practice, so this is a perfect time to do it.
A little effort now will allow your trees and shrubs to thrive through the warm summer months ahead!
JLS Landscape & Sprinkler, Inc.
JLS has been maintaining quality landscapes for corporate and commercial clients in Colorado for over 40 years.