winter damage to your maine landscape

Winter Damage to Your Maine Landscape

Spring is almost here and while Mainers know the weather rarely follows the calendar to a tee, we’ll soon have time to assess our landscape and deal with any damage inflicted by Old Man Winter.

Assessing and repairing winter damage to your Maine landscape may seem like a big challenge. While Maine’s harsh winters can damage your landscape, there are ways to restore its beauty and health. Let’s look at some of the causes of winter damage and then look at how to repair it.

winter damage to your maine landscape

Causes of Winter Damage

There are a variety of factors that damage the landscape during the winter including wind, snow, dry air, salt, and even animals.

The wind is a problem for all seasons but when it combines with elements such as snow and ice, it can be particularly nasty.

Snow itself presents assorted problems. For example, it can lead to mold, it can keep plants from getting proper moisture, and it can accumulate on plants and trees, breaking branches.

Another challenge with snow is the removal of it. For example, roadways and parking lots, along with any areas that are plowed will have far more frost and frozen ground than areas that have not had snow removed. Removal of the snow allows for the cold to just keep getting deeper and deeper. According to JLC, “on average snow has an R-value of 1 per inch — about the same as wood. Twelve inches of snow have roughly the same insulating value as a 2×4 wall filled with fiberglass insulation.”

Dry air is an often-overlooked problem. While there is plenty of moisture in snow and ice, the cold air surrounding it dries things out, which can damage your landscape.

Salt is useful in helping us clear our walkways, driveways, and streets, but it is harmful to our vegetation.

Animals can be another problem for your landscape. Critters such as deer and rodents may find traditional food sources scarce. This can lead to them eating plant life they normally would not eat – unfortunately this can mean the beautiful plants and bushes in your yard.

Assessing Winter Damage

As the weather warms up, you’ll want to survey your landscape and assess any damage to it. You’ll want to carefully assess your situation before taking any action.

Here are some of the things you may notice when assessing your landscape:

  • broken branches (or compression damage which partially damages a branch)
  • root rot
  • damage from animals such as deer and rodents
  • cold damage that killed or damaged your plants
  • full or partial uprooting of plants or plants

Be especially careful if you encounter any safety concerns. For example, if branches are tangled in power lines, do not attempt to fix the problem by yourself. 

You’ll also want to make sure you work within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable climbing ladders or using power tools such as chainsaws, you will want to consider hiring a qualified landscaping professional. 

Repairing Winter Damage

Once you’ve assessed the damage, it’s time to see what can be saved and what can’t. Here are a few guidelines:

Although the winter can take its toll on our plants and trees, there is much that can be done. First, it’s important to remember that the different pieces of our landscape may be heartier than we think.

In some cases, what initially looks like irreparable damage isn’t as bad as it looks. This is where a landscape professional may be able to save plants or trees that others might write off.

  1. If you remove something, be aware of any structural changes it may cause. For example, you may have to apply new soil to maintain water drainage caused by soil erosion.
  2. Never underestimate the power of pruning. Pruning can stimulate growth and allow you to remove damaged portions.
  3. Watering may be all that’s necessary for plants and trees that have not received adequate moisture due to the snow and ice.

Finally, assessing and repairing winter damage to your Maine landscape can be a learning process. You may discover that you have plants that aren’t suited for Maine winters. In other cases, it may just be a case of preparing them better for the winter.

While the winter can damage your Maine landscape, you have options to assess and repair it. Our team will work closely with you to evaluate and fix any landscape damage caused by our Maine winters. We can also help you prepare in the fall to reduce or eliminate damage from an upcoming winter!

Whatever your needs, Davis Landscape is here. Our family owned business offers various landscaping services, and we’ve proudly been beautifying the state of Maine since 1976! 

Get in touch today and let us know how we can help.