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Why you need to prepare for snow

Tip of the Week

Courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Have you seen the weather forecast?

Here in the Mountains and along the Front Range, snow is in the weekend forecast, so it’s time to prepare for snow and very cold temperatures.

Remember the sprinkler system

We’ve already seen temperatures dipping pretty low at night this week, so you should already have prepared your irrigation system. If you have not yet winterized the sprinkler system, don’t delay. Make an appointment to have a professional blow out the lines. In the meantime, shut off the system and protect your backflow device against freezing temps.

Snow on top of leaves is a mess

Wet leaves take time to dry out, become heavy and even slimy. It will save you time and trouble in the long run, if your yard is covered with leaves, to deal with them before it snows. For leaves on the lawn, a smart move is to mulch them with a mulching lawn mower. The fragments left behind are good nutrition for the lawn.

In bed areas, you’ll also be ahead of the game by raking most of the leaves out. Work especially at cleaning out ground cover.

When it snows this time of year

Storm damage is more likely to occur on trees that haven’t yet dropped all their leaves. Snow can build up, weigh down the branches and cause breakage. Trees that still have a lot of leaves are especially susceptible to damage.

If you see snow accumulating and you can reach branches on smaller trees, use a broom handle to gently shake limbs so snow falls off. Start on the lowest branches, working up. Otherwise, snow falling from higher onto lower branches just adds to their snow load that leads to breakage.

Don’t forget evergreens as you prepare for snow

Even though they stand tall winter after winter, in very heavy snows, their branches can also break. Keep an eye on them during heavy snows and shake their branches as well.

Prune to prevent more storm damage and decay.  It’s always best to have broken, ripped limbs pruned back with a clean cut. Otherwise, torn limbs can invite pests and disease. This is one time when having an arborist, who really knows trees, do the work will pay off in the long term.

What not to prune

Shrubs that flower early in the spring have already set the buds that will become pretty flowers. Avoid pruning lilac, dogwood, forsythia, viburnum and spirea in the fall or you will see fewer flowers next spring.

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