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Should frost-covered trees and shrubs be shaken?

  • Botanical Garden
English

It’s not recommended to shake or strike trees and shrubs covered in frost. That action damages buds and small branches, which gives rise to the creation of numerous vigorous shoots (suckers) growing in dormant buds the following spring.

In certain cases it’s possible to clear branches imprisoned in ice at ground level without breaking anything. You have to wait for the temperature to climb above freezing before taking any action, otherwise you risk doing the plants more harm than good.

Incidentally, it’s good to trim torn branches, or else they risk coming loose from the plant. When they fall they can tear off shreds of bark covering the trunk or take other branches with them.

In the case of a crack located at the level of a fork, it’s advisable to attach the branch to the trunk with the help of a strap. That will help avoid a complete split. In the spring, the situation will have to be evaluated so you can decide on the right step to take: take off the strap in favor of trusses, or remove the branch completely. Better to call in a tree care professional for the truss work or for pruning thick branches.

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