When winter hits harder than you were expecting, it's natural to worry about the state of your landscaping. Combating excessive amounts of ice and snow does require some action. The following tips can help you minimize ice damage to your landscaping.
Tip #1: Skip the deicers
Deicers, both those that contain salt and those that use other chemicals, can cause damage in your lawn that you won't see until spring. The damage shows up as dead or brown patches, and in some cases it can be difficult to regrow the grass. Use deicers sparingly and sweep up any excess so it doesn't wash away onto the lawn. A better option is to use sand on top of the ice to add traction, since the sand doesn't pose a danger to the landscape plants.
Tip #2: Perfect your snow removal
During the exertion of shoveling or snowblowing, it can be easy to overlook where you are stacking that heavy load of snow. Unfortunately, this can lead to major landscape damage, especially if the snow later melts and refreezes. Before beginning the snow removal process, visualize where all the buried plants are in your yard. If necessary, mark them with flags. Then make sure you stack your piles in areas where the snow and ice won't be further suffocating these plants.
Tip #3: Manage the ice load
It can be tempting to go and shake the excess snow and ice off of your poor trees, but this can cause more damage since brittle frozen branches are more likely to break. If you must relieve the branches of some of the ice, then do so by carefully brushing upward on the under side of the branches with a broom. This can loosen the snow and ice so the branch "pops" and sheds the ice on its own. Never brush downward, as this is more likely to snap the branch.
Tip #4: Cage your woody plants
Animals can get desperate once the world is encased in ice, which can lead them to peel the bark off your trees and woody plants as they seek any type of food source. This leaves your plants open to pest and disease infections come spring. If the snow or ice is deep, consider wrapping the trunks and lower stems of your woody plants with a tree wrap or a metal mesh tree cage to protect them from animal pests.
Talk to a landscaping company like Boyer WH for more help.