DENVER (CBS4)– Several inches of heavy, wet snow is expected to fall across Colorado this weekend but some plants and trees have already started to bud and flower.
Experts say the best thing is to knock off the snow from the branches with a broom before the weight of the snow snaps the branches. Spring flowers like tulips, irises, daffodils and crocuses are vulnerable to snow unless their bulbs haven’t opened.
“If you do have a plant like this tulip that is already open then these open flowers will likely die. But future blooms will be okay. It will not kill the plant, just the flowers that are open,” said Erin Bird with the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Placing a bucket over flowers can help protect them from the snow.
It’s best to look around and stay away from downed power lines before brushing off any snow from tree branches.
The following tips come from the Colorado State Forest Service when dealing with snow-covered branches:
- Check for hazards. Before approaching a tree, examine your surroundings to avoid making contact with downed utility lines or standing under broken, hanging branches.
- Contact city officials if necessary. Trees between the street and a city sidewalk may be the responsibility of city crews.
- Assess the damage. If a tree is healthy overall and still possesses its leader (the main upward branch), most of its major limbs and 50 percent or more of its crown, the chance is good for a complete recovery.
- Be careful knocking snow off branches. This may cause the branches to break. If you must remove snow, gently push up on branches from below to prevent adding additional stress.
- Remove broken branches. This minimizes the risk of decay and insects or diseases entering the wound. Prune at the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and be mindful of potential pent-up energy if the branch is twisted or bent.
- Don’t over-prune. With the loss of some branches, a tree may look unbalanced, but most trees quickly grow new foliage that hides bare areas.
- Don’t try to do it all yourself. If the job requires running a chainsaw overhead, sawing from a ladder or removing large branches or entire trees, contact an insured, certified arborist. Professionals often are listed in the phone book under “tree services.”