Although snow can sometimes be difficult to handle, it can actually provide a few benefits to your landscape. Excess snow and ice should be managed, but there are a few benefits that snow can provide to your plants and soil. If you want to learn how you can harness the benefits of snow on your landscape this season, keep reading for a few surprising facts and tips for managing any heavy snowfall.
Snow Insulates Soil and Plants
One of the surprising benefits of snow is that it can act as an excellent insulator. Without snow, freezing winter temperatures can freeze the soil further. Snow can act as a blanket, protecting new growth from extreme temperatures and wind while keeping the plants moist.
Snow Protects Against Temperature Fluctuations
Snow helps protect your soil from wide temperature fluctuations. Under the cover of snow, the roots of perennials, bulbs, ground covers, and other plants can be protected from the freeze-thaw cycle that can push tender roots right out of the ground.
Fresh snow provides good insulation, almost like a fluffy down jacket. It creates pockets of trapped air that hold in heat. Without snow, milder temperatures and sunlight could warm the soil’s surface, leading to damage from soil heaving, which can break roots and dry out plants.
Snow Provides Extra Moisture
Snow is also helpful for conserving soil moisture through the winter. The melting water from snow goes directly into the soil. This is especially helpful because cold temperatures and winter winds can quickly dry out exposed soil.
By preserving moisture in the winter, your soil will already have some necessary moisture available once spring arrives.
How to Deal with Heavy Snow
Heavy snowfall can weigh down tree branches, especially on multi-stemmed shrubs. To prevent damage to shrubs and tree branches, you can take a few different steps:
- If possible, bundle stems together in the fall using burlap or canvas.
- Take a broom and carefully brush in an upward motion any heavy snow from branches as soon as possible. Do not try to remove ice as you will likely break branches. Let the ice melt naturally.
- If you have young trees, you may want to wrap the trunks with a tree wrap to prevent the bark from splitting due to fluctuations in temperature extremes.
So, in addition to sleigh riding there are a few surprising benefits of snow that we can appreciate every winter.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.