Blog : Top 5 Tips to Clean Up Snow-Damaged Landscaping and Prepare for Summer

By Ken | May 20, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

This was a rough winter for many around the Seacoast, including area trees and shrubs.

“As a result of the winter we just had, with such heavy snow loads, we're seeing an enormous amount of tree and shrub damage,” said Ben Woods, Project Manager for Site Structures Landscape, Inc., an eco-friendly, community-minded landscape resource based in Eliot, Maine. “And this type of damage requires unique actions.”

Woods shares Site Structures’ Top 5 Tips for landscaping clean-up after a very snowy winter:

1. PRUNE RIGHT: Prune broken tree branches back to a healthy bud or where one branch attaches to another;

2. PRUNE CLEAN: When pruning, make each cut a clean cut—when you do, the branch will heal faster and is less susceptible to insects or diseases;

3. PRUNE AGGRESSIVELY, WHEN APPROPRIATE: When plants like spirea or inkberry holly sustain heavy damage, they need to be pruned far back (they will flush back out as they grow);

4. PRUNE NOW: The sooner you prune winter-damaged branches the better—exceptions include plants about to flower or plants that are currently flowering, like forsythia or lilacs (in the case of flowering plants, wait for the blooms to finish and then prune); and

5. REMEMBER THE MULCH: Apply a light coating of new mulch to your landscaping—not only does it smell wonderful, but it has many benefits, like helping with weed suppression and moisture retention.

“Of course, these are just a few of the items that need to be done to keep your landscape healthy,” says Woods. “You also need to do things like rake out the beds to remove debris and cut a clean edge to separate the beds from the lawn.”

For those without a green thumb—or without the time to tend to landscaping—Site Structures can be called in to do the work, and to do it with respect for Mother Nature. As an eco-friendly landscape resource, Site Structure uses a number of cutting-edge green techniques and practices, like sustainable landscape designs, chemical-free alternatives, storm water management, and rain garden implementation; they even power their fleet of vehicles with biodiesel.

Site Structures is a partner with the Green Alliance, a locally driven union passionate about bringing together environmentally-friendly businesses while also providing its members with discounts on green products and services. Green Alliance members save $150 on a Site Structures order for the installation of trees, shrubs, perennials, or any combination totaling $1500 or more, as well as $300 off a patio, wall, or walkway installation of $5000 or more.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based Purely Organic Lawncare is another eco-friendly landscaping resource, servicing commercial and residential properties with everything from soil testing to crabgrass management; and, as the name suggests, they employ an organic alternative to conventional chemical lawn care. Also in Portsmouth, N.H., Cornerstone Tree Care truly cares for trees—owner Micum David uses a tree-climbing method (utilizing rope and a series of knots) that doesn’t damage the tree’s sensitive bark or spike the tree that might leave wounds that could eventually kill the tree; in addition, Cornerstone’s chain lubricants are biodegradable, resulting in what is usually a toxic, petroleum-based material returning back to the earth. Both are partners with Green Alliance: with Purely Organic Lawncare, Green Alliance Members save 10% off services and, with Cornerstone Tree Care, members receive a one-time discount of 10% off any tree job.

Not a Green Alliance member? Join today!