Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowmegeddon: The Garden Damage

storm damage of white pines at 2 Green Acres
The snow storms over the past two weeks have not been kind to the garden. At first, I was philoshopical about this. Okay, I might lose a few plants, but hey, it is just nature's way of cleaning up the garden. I would just use this as a chance to introduce some new plants to my yard.

Then, I saw the damage to my white pines (cue the Psycho music). My white pines lost some major limbs! Now I can see my neighbor's swing set! AGHHH!

storm damage to the mid-atlantic garden of 2 Green Acres
Now I know, rationally, that white pines are not the most exicting plants in the garden. And, if I was being rational about it, I would also realize that I planted a second row of white pines, and they will eventually grow up and block this gaping hole that now exists. But still! I was hoping the second row of white pines would provide an extra screen against the noise of a busy street. Instead, they will just replace the current screen. I thought I was making forward progress, but I was really just standing still.

Okay, snap out of it. Many people had a lot worse damage than I did. The full extent of the damage in my yard will not be evident until the snow melts but as of right now, most of the damage seems to have been sustained by evergreens that were weighted down by snow and ice. Some, like a cypress, was on the decline before this happened. A few of the bushes I always thought were ugly anyway, so they won't be missed. And some will no doubt recover, like my ice covered euonymus (For those paying close attention, these are different euonymus than the ones with crown gall that I blogged about last week. The former owners loved euonymus!). Unfortunately, there is a also large evergreen near my driveway that lost several limbs, and I am not sure if it can be saved.

storm damage to the plants of 2 green acres

In addition, with more than 3 feet of snow, the guy who plows our driveway had no choice but to put some of the snow on a row of hollies that are next to the driveway and enclose a small garden. Since the pile of snow is more than 6 feet high, it will be a while before we know what damage these sustained. But I am not hopeful. In previous winters, they have been pushed by the plow, but we have been able to push them back upright in the spring, and, although worse for it, for the most part they have survived. But this one might have been too much.

The Washington Post had a good article about how to deal with plants damage by the snow storm. Last week, I blogged about my garden projects for 2010. As a result of these storms, I may need to add to or revise this list.


  1. yes, as the snow is melting, it's starting to not looks so beautiful! It's definitely time to assess the damage. My prized young little magnolia tree has two broken limbs that I'll have to figure out what to do with (thanks for the lead on that wash post article!). If I remove them, it will be one ugly frankentree.

  2. Wendy - so sorry to hear about your Magnolia. I hope it survives (as more than a frankentree!).

  3. My magnolia doesn't look too bad, even though it lost 3 feet of height off the main trunk. I think it will come back without looking too awkward! Thanks for the article!

  4. Hi Cathy - Glad to hear the magnolia made it through relatively unscathed!

  5. jeanbeckman2@mac.comFebruary 25, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    What do I do with hugh boxwoods that were broken
    and mashed down by snow off the roof of my house.
    They now have pracitally no standing branches and hugh holes in the middle

  6. Jean - boxwoods are difficult to rehabilitate because they are so slow growing. I have several in my yard that have suffered a lot of damage (still not sure how much, because we still have a lot of snow). I am going to try and cut them back and see if they will come back, but I may need to just pull them out. It is a shame, because they are beautiful bushes.