Why you should not knock ice off trees: what is the danger
Frosty weather, especially with periods of thaw, leads to the formation of frost on the branches of trees and bushes. Some gardeners believe that this can harm the plants and knock the ice off. However, experts do not recommend doing so.
OBOZ.UA asked for professional advice on how to properly care for a garden covered with ice. Experts advise to approach the issue from two sides - your own safety and the benefit of plants.
How to protect yourself
Before going out into the icy garden, carefully assess the situation from a distance. Estimate by eye how thick and heavy the ice layer is on the branches. Observe if the pieces fall off by themselves.
Ice is a very heavy substance, and being hit on the head with an ice block can be very dangerous, even fatal. Moreover, the pieces fall without warning. Therefore, do not stand near icy trees if you have even the slightest doubt that it is safe.
Pay special attention to trees whose branches touch or are close to electric wires. Ice conducts electricity, so stay away from such plants.
How not to take care of trees
Experienced gardeners say that knocking ice off branches can cause irreparable damage to plants. Since the weight of the ice is quite heavy, the branches are already under considerable stress. If you start shaking or tapping them, they can break off. In this case, by the way, injuring the careless gardener.
Also, do not spray trees with water to melt the ice. First, it's a waste of time, because even if you completely wash the crust off the branches, there will be water left on them that will quickly freeze, which means nothing will change for the plant - it will continue to be frozen. Secondly, if the ice layer is thick enough, you won't be able to melt it quickly, and the water you use for spraying will freeze again, making the crust even thicker and heavier.
And never use salt or other de-icing agents on plants. They are toxic to them. And even if the salt does not damage the branches, during the thaw it will penetrate the soil with water and then damage the roots of the plant, and such damage can be irreparable.
So what should you do with an icy garden?
The best advice is to wait until it gets warmer and the ice melts on its own. The process will be gradual, natural and safe. And the soil will receive a large portion of clean water to feed the plants.
If you want to protect your garden from ice damage, you need to take care of it in advance. Proper tree pruning is the best prevention in this case. By removing weak and damaged branches, you will make the plant more resistant to such weather conditions.