This most recent nor'easter on March 7th, produced a lot of wet heavy snow. Snow is generally beneficial to shrubs and other plant material by providing moisture and insulation from the cold.
Something to look for when we have wet heavy snow falls is snow that lays on shrub branches and bends them. If this heavy snow persists long enough, it can break a branch or bend a branch(es). If the snow remains long enough and a branch is bent great enough sometimes it gains a memory, similar to a hose that is always wound in the same direction. This is a common occurrence with multi stemmed or trunked plants such as arborvitae or birch.
If you experience this, it is best to remove the snow so that the plant does not gain a memory and become misshapen or break from the weight of the snow. It is not necessary to remove all the snow, as moisture is beneficial for plants, just to remove the weight from the situation. This can easily be done with a broom or a piece of wood and a gentle tapping to allow the snow to fall off. Shovels and rakes can have sharp edges that could cut or damage plant material but you can turn them around and use the handle end to again gracefully remove the weight of the snow.
Proper care and pruning can help reduce winter damage. If you do experience any damage or misshaped plants, please give us a call, we can help.