Saturday, January 4, 2014

To broom or not to broom, that is the question

Snowy palms
Palm fronds bending under the weight of snow

Thursday night saw a rapid drop in temperatures accompanied by snow that is still sticking around, including on my palms!   The standard advice is to use a broom to gently knock snow and ice off palm fronds to help prevent breakage or other mechanical damage, but I've been going back and forth on whether to do this.  My reasoning is that the snow might actually help prevent desiccation from cold winds, especially as temperatures drop the next few days.  I could be absolutely wrong, but with lows forecast to go into the single digits last night, I figured the damage was already done and I might as well leave it.  As it turns out, the low last night in the city was 18 degrees--several degrees higher than the warmest forecast and certainly nothing to be concerned about--and it's going to warm up enough tomorrow that all the snow will probably melt or fall off on its own anyway.  And then comes Monday night!  I'm still wondering how my palms will fare if it really goes into the low single digits as they're predicting, but who knows, the urban heat island just might save my ass one more time!

Snowy palm
Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) with snow

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