When it snows in Vancouver, the city pretty much shuts down. The streets are undrivable, transit is unreliable, cyclists try to ride in the tracks from the SUVs and most of us try to “work from home”. While we are experiencing a municipal state of emergency, the rest of the country snickers. To those who are laughing I say this: Vancouver snow won’t stay for long. When your garden is still white and frozen, we will be counting spring flowers.
Even though Vancouver snow won’t stay for long, it has the potential to do a great deal of damage. When wet snow accumulates, it gets heavy and breaks branches and splits hedges. I encourage all of my friends who are “working from home”, to get on your boots and get out in your yard and shake all the snow from your shrubs, trees and hedges. Take a hockey stick or ski pole outside with you to get the snow off the higher branches.
Check and remove snow from: lower branches of evergreens; hedges – snow can weigh flat-topped hedges down and make them “split”; branches of smaller shrubs such as rosemary, sedums, rhododendrons and hydrangeas can get bent to the ground; ornamental grasses. Be very gentle to make sure that your shaking doesn’t damage the tree. For smaller trees, grab the trunk and gently shake the entire tree.
Also watch out for “potential disasters”. For example, in the photo above (of my back garden) you can see that the branch of the cryptomeria near the middle right is bending down. Unfortunately, if this branch goes, it will take out the power lines. Fantastic.
While you are outside, put out some seeds for the birds and don’t forget to shovel your sidewalk before the snow turns to wet cement and then freezes overnight!
PS: For some tree shaking inspiration, check out this entertaining 29 second video: almond tree shaker. I just might have to learn to operate one of these.