NewsCovering Colorado


Salvaging plants and trees damaged by late season snow

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 21:04:50-04

“This late snow was a big surprise to everybody I think,” Diane Brunjes is the lead gardener at the Colorado Springs, Horticultural Art Society, Demonstration Garden. She is working with volunteers the day after a late season snowstorm damaged plants and trees greening up for spring.

The damage is a set-back. Brunjes says it’s also part of gardening in Colorado. “Just don’t give up. Get out there, clean them up, give them a little dose of compost and organic fertilizer. Makes a huge difference in recovery of plants that have been damaged.”

Plants will react differently to the bends and breaks. Some will come back on their own.
“Wait a few days and see if it may respond naturally just to the sunshine.” If the bends persist use stakes and ties to put stems and branches in better position.

Then there are the cracks and breaks in trees. “If it lost less than 50% of its branches, you’re probably going to have a recover,” said Brunjes, “We get this wonderful high intensity sunshine at our altitude.” If a branch breaks away clean, the damaged areas can be left alone. If it looks shredded and is hanging, it helps to do some cutting. A clean cut is better for healing.

If unsure, have a licensed arborist take a look at the damaged areas. It is also safer, especially with large trees. In a short-time they can save you years of wondering whether a favorite tree will survive.