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Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz

What to do for ice-covered trees

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Trees and shrubs are bent and broken under the weight of the icy mix of rain, sleet and snow that fell over the weekend. So the topic of today's yard and garden conversation is no surprise.

Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy shares what to do, and what NOT to do for ice covered limbs and branches. First, she says, do no harm: be gentle. It's tempting to try to knock the ice off a tree or branch that's bent low with ice, but Amy says that can do more damage, possibly even break the branch altogether. Her advice is to prop up a limb if you want to try and help.

There's no hurry, she says. Don't risk life and limb to do any yard work, it's OK to wait till the ice is gone and the footing is better for working. Waiting won't make things worse for the tree or shrubs. When you DO decide to prune broken tree limbs, she says, make a clean cut, and it's best take the whole branch.

Finally, she says, she'll be waiting till spring to tackle shrubs that need pruning.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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