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Ice storm damages weakest wood first

<p>Ice storm damage can topple trees, break branches. Photo courtesy Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab</p>

Ice storm damage can topple trees, break branches. Photo courtesy Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab

From Rosie Lerner, Purdue Extension Consumer Horticulture

In typical ice storms, the trees hardest hit are weak-wooded species such as silver maples, Siberian elms, river birch and willows. Trees that have been previously topped generally respond by regrowing numerous weak branches that are even more susceptible to breakage. These are among the first of the branches that fall during an ice storm.

Evergreen trees and shrubs are also particularly vulnerable because their foliage tends to collect more snow and ice loads. Evergreen trees, such as pine and spruce, are not capable of filling in new top growth where the damage has occurred, so the natural shape of the tree will be permanently affected. Damaged shrubs often can be pruned and encouraged to regrow.

Protection not practible

There’s not much that can be practically done to protect large trees from such damage. For multi-stemmed shrubs that can be reached safely, you can help prevent or at least minimize damage from heavy snow and ice loads by bundling stems together using burlap or canvas or simply tie with cord or twine.

After storm sweep

Once the storm subsides, carefully remove heavy snow as soon as possible by using a soft broom or rubber rake. However, don’t try to remove ice. Damage to the bark is more likely in trying to remove ice than simply allowing it to melt on its own.

Other storm damage tips:

Wind damaged trees

Use caution around snow and ice covered limbs

HortusScope February 2011

HortusScope, a checklist of garden and nature related things to do in Central Indiana has been posted. This calendar is compiled by Wendy Ford of Landscape Fancies as a pubic service.

HortusScope February 2011

Local farm products focus of Growing for Market 2011 series

February 2, 2011 6:30 PMtoFebruary 16, 2011 9:00 PM

What: Growing for Market 2011, a three-session series that offers current and aspiring farmers the opportunity to learn about the emerging consumer demand for locally produced farm products and identify which of these products is appropriate for their operation. This is a distance learning program available at 21 sites throughout Indiana, including Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, 1029 Fletcher Ave.

When: 6:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays, Feb. 2, 9, and 16, 2011

Fee: Three sessions: $30; one session, $15, which includes handouts and resource materials.

Registration: On line registration deadline is Jan. 26.

For more info: Contact Purdue Extension-Marion County, (317) 275-9286 or e-mail: dschelsk@purdue.edu.