Northern Nevada outdoors: Accessing last month’s winter storm on lawns and landscaping | Carson City Nevada News
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During the three-day storm in the last week of January, between 1 and 2 feet of snow fell.
Hooray for wet snow that came late last month! We had two feet of snow in our house. I don’t have to water the trees for at least a month. However, as I drove into town, I noticed that Carson City received a lot less snow.
You need to assess whether your trees have received enough moisture. Did it soak the soil 15 “to 18” deep? It can be difficult to tell if the ground is frozen and you can’t slide a long screwdriver or soil probe into it.
As I walked through our neighborhood, I noticed broken and torn limbs damaged by the weight of the snow. Sometimes when a branch is not too big and is still mostly attached, you can prop it up, splint it, and wrap it up in the hope that it will be reattached to the original tissue.
The twigs must be repaired immediately after they are damaged, and the tissues must fit together almost identically in order to mend. Often this is not possible and a branch must be cut out to prevent further damage to the remains of the tree.
My neighbor lost a side guide in a jaw. It dangles from torn tissue and must be cut out so that the bark doesn’t tear further down the tree. The good news is that once removed, an arm load will take off as the new leader. After a few years, the gap will no longer be noticeable.
Every day during the three day storm, I went out and pushed the heavy snow up and down from my dwarf Alberta spruce, a burning bush, and a skunk sumac to reduce shape-changing damage. Notice I said “up and down”. By gently lifting the snow up and down instead of hitting it down and down, I didn’t break any branches. Sweeping down puts additional strain on the end of the branch and promotes the breakage of the stem and limbs. I found that a light plastic rake worked better than a broom.
In the case of my caryopters (bluebeard) and spiraea, I actually removed them by hand and gently dug them handful by handful out of the snow, as they were completely buried and broke very easily. I had to be careful where I stepped to avoid compacting the snow into hard snowballs on the poor stalks.
I’m happy about the moisture, but I’m also glad that we don’t have that much snow week after week. It is much work!
– JoAnne Skelly is Associate Professor & Extension Educator Emerita at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at [email protected]