Now that the snow is finally gone we can accomplish more winter maintenance tasks.
1. ornamental grass cutback. Once the snow bends the grasses out of shape, it's OK to cut them back.
2. Sedums can be flush cut.
3. remove any dead tree branches
4. shear Spireas down to low mounds
5. stake any shrubs beat up by snow
Help plants by unloading snow off the top; cut back ornamental grasses; practice chainsaw skills; correct bad tree cuts; practice plant ID; stake uprooted trees; remove tree stakes.
Extreme cold weather not normally experienced in the Lower Mainland is annoying but there are still tasks to be completed while we wait for warmer temperatures.
It's a challenge to get through snowy, frosty days. More seasonal weather can't come soon enough. But while we grind through January, there is a number of tasks that can be completed in the landscape.
1. snow clearing and ice melter spreading, obviously. This can be back breaking labour but it keeps us busy
2. brushing snow off plants, gently, to avoid breakage
3. installing river rock
4. removing tree stakes older than one season
5. Pruning trees and removing snow-damaged branches
6. Perennial cut-back, not completed last year
7. Cedar hedge shearing
8. Overdue blade edging
Unusual amounts of snow and well-below seasonal temperatures can be annoying for landscapers but it's OK to take a few minutes to enjoy the landscapes. Some Sedums and ornamental grasses were not cut back in the fall and they look good with snow on top of them. Redosier dogwoods also look great with their red twigs (Cornus sericea).
Cute snowmen are a bonus!
Happy New Year!!
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT
Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist and ISA certified arborist