January Tips

Tip 1

Here in the Lower Mainland, we sometimes get snow at this time of year. When it’s the kind of snow that is quite heavy and wet, or if the snow is soon followed by icy rain, then our trees and shrubs often experience branch breakage due to the added weight. This can result in unsightly gaps in the canopy, or bark tears along the trunk and jagged stubs, which are easy for pests and diseases to infiltrate. We commonly see stems of Brandon cedar hedges bending and breaking under the snow-load. Some tree species that are particularly susceptible to limb failure include Deodar cedar, fir, hemlock, willow, cottonwood, and magnolia.

You can take proactive measures by tying up some of your smaller trees and shrubs. It is also wise to have larger trees pruned to reduce the end weight of the larger branches. You can also shake off the snow when you notice it accumulating on the plants, or even knock it off with a rake or broom.

When damage does occur, it is important to have the trees or shrubs pruned to remove broken stubs. If there are big trees on your property, then something to watch for after any storm is the potential for large broken branches to be hung up in the canopy, presenting a hazard to those below.

 

Tip 2

Wondering what to do with that Christmas tree? In most municipalities, you can find tree chipping events, usually by donation, and for a charitable cause. Alternatively, you can also recycle your old tree at home. Cutting it up into small pieces and adding it to your compost bin is a good source of nitrogen for your compost.