I am hearing of accumulations of five to eight inches of snow in the area, which is borderline, but just enough to cause concern for branches that are arching under the weight of the wet snow. Occasionally, snowfalls are accompanied by breezes that blow snow out of trees and shrubs, but today has been relatively still.
Certainly, there is no reason for panic, though I recommend a leisurely stroll through the garden armed with a leaf rake. I will caution to look up in wooded areas. In this garden there are numerous large dead branches suspended in tall maples and tulip poplars, balanced and waiting to fall. The weight of the snow is enough to bring them down, so I scan the forest canopy before walking through this part of the garden.
When I encounter an arched branch of a nandina, boxwood, or other evergreen, I gently nudge it with the back side of the rake. Most of the snow falls, and the branch springs back nearly to its original position. While this is not a necessity for many plants, in past years I’ve had branches that required pruning when they did not spring back into place after the snow melted.
Upright growing, multi-trunk evergreens such as Sky Pencil holly and Emerald Green arborvitae are most susceptible to bent branches that will permanently disfigure their upright shape. A gentle shake or nudge with a rake will quickly solve the problem. The less violent the nudge, the better. We’re not trying to kill the snow, just remove it.
As always, if you have any questions I’ll be happy to reply. Be safe, and enjoy. It is winter, and though I wrote a few days ago about the mild start to the season, the snowfall should be no surprise.