Winter protection for home & garden

Sign advertising "Free Snow" atop a snow pile
My neighborhood sign shop has a little fun with the weather.

We’ve had a few good days of thawing, but February is usually Boston’s snowiest month, so it’s not too late for a snow post.

The good news: Snow is a great insulator for plants.  We see a lot more winter kill in cold, dry winters than in heavy snow years.  Hopefully, hydrangea macrophylla, container plants, and marginally hardy perennials will give a good showing in spring.

The bad news: the weight of snow can damage and even break woody plants. Use a broom to knock heavy snow off brittle branches, particularly on upright evergreens like arborvitaes.  Trees and shrubs which have dense branching (e.g. dwarf cultivars of Japanese Maple) or have not been pruned recently may also be in danger because they hold more snow.

Also, if you have snow accumulating on a flat or shallowly-sloped roof, here are snow removal tips from the Massachusetts office of Public Safety.

Stay safe and warm, and enjoy the white stuff!

Snowshoeing last weekend in the Middlesex Fells.