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We have an unusually cold winter in canada: with persistent temperatures in the -25 degrees range! There is also lots of snow. I N wondering if I should leave the shrubs alone or try to remove the snow. Most are buried in snow! 

Thanks for any advise. 

Perki

I don't know the answer to your question to honest. It rather cold -25C  a temperature rarely seen in most of the UK. It depends on what shrubs / plants you are on about, some will be harder than others.

The snow will help insulate the plants / shrubs from the cold temperatures, but could also damage them with the weight of the snow. -25C I would of thought is in the danger zone for a lot of plants, so I probably leave the snow and prune out damaged branches in spring and hope everything comes back. 

Some other forum members from continental Europe who have more serve winter's than most of us in the UK should be able to advise you better. 

Thank you! 

It's better to leave the snow while temps are that low - as Perki says, it provides some insulation. But when you begin to see a thaw, I'd get out and help things along to reduce the weight on the branches especially of larger spreading shrubs. Leave the snow on the ground underneath as long as possible though - again, it's helping reduce the risk of freezing

Then it's a matter of seeing what has survived - you'll probably loose a few . But some careful pruning will revive some others. Take note of what has coped better and use that as your guide when thinking about replacements for any that are dead. 

We had minus 20C here a few years ago when my garden was still in it's infancy and a lot of the plants were too young to cope. I lost some shrubs but many came through a bit bent and brown but a year later were thriving again. 

Obelixx

-25C was not that unusual in my Belgian garden but was rarely accompanied by insulating snow.  It can be devastating to many plants when it's that cold but you'd be surprised how many cope when they have a blanket.

As advised above, leave the snow to act as a blanket.  Just clear paths so you can get about safely but stay off beds and lawns.   When the thaw does come, you may need to remove and dead or broken branches and stems but let the snow thaw naturally.  Only if you see branches bending under its weight should you shake it free.

In the UK, heavy snows can come at just below zero so stems and branches are much softer and more pliable than they would be in Canada and the weight of snow can bend branches which then look unsightly and don't bounce back.  

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Obelixx says:

In the UK, heavy snows can come at just below zero so stems and branches are much softer and more pliable than they would be in Canada and the weight of snow can bend branches which then look unsightly and don't bounce back.  

See original post

Fair point 

Papi Jo

I don't understand why you mention "English garden " in your post title since you say you are based in Canada. 

Probably refers to a style rather than geographic location, Papi Jo? Like 'cottage gardens' which are frequently found some distance from the nearest cottage

Mark56

I'd knock the snow off of Evergreens including hedges if you have them, as they will often create brown patches/lose their shape with the snow. The rest should be fine 

Last edited: 03 January 2018 18:09:13

Obelixx

I lost nearly all my evergreens - conifers, viburnums, mahonia, eleagnus, choisya, and skimmias - in a snowless -32C night followed by a week of -25C.  I'd keep the insulating snow on them.  Live plants can be re-pruned.  dead ones just have to be dug up.

Cloggie
raisingirl says:

Probably refers to a style rather than geographic location, Papi Jo? Like 'cottage gardens' which are frequently found some distance from the nearest cottage

See original post

 Like "home-made" things sold in restaurants and cafes.  I always wonder if it's made in the Chef's home and brought to work?

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