Ice in all its beauty!
I thought it time to get my gardening gear on aka, snow gear and head out to asses the state of my plants. Up until now I had only really been out the back, so today I ventured out-front..."shock and awe" was what I found!
The power of mother nature was seen in my yard that day...tree limbs were down across the street, shrubs that once stood 15ft tall I was now able to look over and I'm only just over 5ft! My 25ft Italian Cypress which used to stand proud was now something out of a Dr. Seuss book and the amount of ice weighing down the plants was totally unbelievable.
Even after ice removal the Italian Cypress is still to stand upright, I may need to get up there and tie it.
While the boys went of sledding, I had no choice but to stay and get busy and remove some of this weight in hopes to save my strained plants. It almost felt like I was saving a child! (not that I'm dramatic or anything!) At first I could lift off the huge 2-3in layers of ice, like shields that had been placed to protect my plants from the cold. I was removing 1 to 5 pound chunks, my poor plants! After the easy stuff was removed, it was time to start breaking up the huge chunks that encased the leaves, this was a lot harder to remove and required more muscle and creative techniques. I found a quick karate chop action was the most successful, it would pass the ice between the branches doing less damage. But ouuuie after an hour of this, my poor hands! I also used the broom handle and other tools. I eventually just took my gloves off and started to hitting the plants with them.
Before and after, wish I could've captured this better. The boxus above was crushed under ice and was barely 1ft high (usually 4.5ft ) I thought it was gone for sure.
I was shocked by the sight of my flattened garden but in awe of how resilient my plants truly are!
My tips for removing ice from plants...
- Remove the biggest chunks of lose ice first.
- Then start removing the attached ice by largest working from the ground up. (I found if I started this from the top, the top ice would fall on the lower branches which are still covered in ice, placing even more strain on the lower ones) Its a little more work but totally worth it! Trying to come from the underside of the branch and going with the direction of the branches.
- Once I could remove as much as I could, I would firmly grab a main limb and give it a gentle shake, dislodging most of the snow and broken ice.