Nine ways to avoid winter landscape damage

Updated Dec 14, 2023

Photo of a Snowplow and Deicing Truck Clearing a Snowy Street

The cold weather has arrived and snow might be just around the corner.

When the snow begins to fall, the snowplows come out to play. Snowplows and deicing trucks can do some serious damage to tree bark, branches, roots and flower buds.

To avoid damaged landscapes this winter, follow these tips:

1. Mulch new trees and shrubs with two or more inches of wood chips or straw, depending on the coldness of the area.

2. Select plants that are winter-hardy and adapted to the area’s climate.

3. Protect landscaping plants by adding a fence or shrubs to offer protection from cold winds.

4. Clean up fallen leaves since they will prevent moisture from reaching roots and sunlight from reaching the grass blades.

5. Water plants and trees, especially narrow leaf and broadleaf evergreens, at the root level when the temperature rises above freezing. Avoid getting the plants’ stems and leaves wet if possible.

6. Avoid planting trees, shrubs, or flowers near areas where salty runoff collects or salt spray is present. Salt can injure roots, stems and foliage.

7. Protect new tree trunks by wrapping them with a commercial tree wrap.

8. Shield plants from hungry rodents, rabbits or deer. Creatures like this can cause serious damage to the landscape plants. Surround the trunk with mesh cloth or fence the lawn to help prevent creatures from entering property.

9. Refrain from knocking the snow off of shrubs or tree limbs as they are frozen, fragile and could break. Also, if possible, avoid walking on the frozen lawn as it could cause damage.

Information provided by The Grounds Guys

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