Monday, December 22, 2008


(Double-click on the photo above to see just how high snowflakes can stack on a slender wire!)

I must have been in a sugar haze after yesterday's makin' like Martha, but it never occurred to me that I might need to rescue some of our landscaping. I was out taking pictures of the beautiful snow this morning, admiring the perfect drape it lent to the big firs, and didn't consider the deadly weight it might be adding to the smaller trees and shrubs. Then late this afternoon after violin practice, Brian pointed out one of our narrow north-facing windows and said, "Look Mom, a fort!" I looked, and there was our dogwood tree, bowed over to half its usual height.I grabbed my camera, threw on my coat and boots, and flew out the door to relieve it of some of its burden. Alas, some limbs had already snapped, and smaller ones broke as I gently tried to shake off some of the ice and snow. I gave up, fearing I would do as much or more damage as the firmly adhered precipitation. Coming back around the front of the house, I saw that my biggest Japanese maple in the island was also struggling under its load, but again, I could do little without causing further injury. I am afraid this spring will reveal the need of much amputation in order to save lives; I only hope none of the injuries prove fatal.
(While it truly does pain me to see my carefully chosen and much-cared-for plantings groaning under the weight of our unusual winter bounty, others have more serious concerns. A dear friend in a nearby town called this afternoon to chat, and mentioned the flood of 1962. She was a newborn then, but she has seen the photos and heard the firsthand accounts and is praying earnestly that her town is spared a repeat performance. That winter brought a similar snowfall, followed by a warm front that melted everything within a day or two. The river that runs through town could not handle the run-off, and the whole town flooded. So while I might wish for a quick thaw to save my landscaping, I must join her in praying for a slow warming to spare people's homes and businesses.)

That's it for now at . . .


MaskedMan said...

Been there, done that.

Use a broom, and start sweeping the branches at their tips - Gently. Work your way 'round, moving up slowly. Don't force it... If it's iced on, the ice and snow can actually act as an insulating blanket; that is, if it doesn't shatter the poor tree, first.

Having seen the scarred heartwood on Dutch elms and Japanese maples growing up in Colorado, all I can say is "Do the best you can - The trees are tougher than you know"

MiniKat said...

Poor trees! I hope they make it through this winter.

Sharon said...

Freak weather plays havoc with our special climates. We are prepared for pretty deep cold, but trees grow slow here. I'd hate to lose even one. I type with almost-crossed fingers for you.