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Post-Mother's Day spring garden hits winter weather snag with forecasted snow

tree leaves
Posted at 7:05 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 10:24:00-04

DENVER — The post-Mother's Day confidence of planting a spring garden will hit a bit of snag in Colorado due to potentially heavy snow and rain expected Friday and Saturday.

Winter weather this time of year is certainly rare, but not unprecedented. What's important now is taking advantage of time in order to protect your trees, plants and home.

"We've always been taught that in Colorado, after Mother's Day [you're] typically in the clear," said Verlina McUne, owner of a salon in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

But not this year.

"Clearly we're past Mother's Day," McUne said.

The winter storm is expected to move across the Denver metro area beginning Friday morning. That means spring gardens, like the ones McUne planted in front of her business, are in jeopardy.

Common advice for these types of weather events consist of placing some type of protective material — plastic bags, tarps, pots — over your delicate plants.

McUne isn't taking that chance this year, as meteorologists anticipate four to eight inches of snow in the Denver metro Friday.

"We'll probably trim these flowers up in the morning and put them in a vase and keep them in the salon for the day and enjoy them," McUne said. "They probably won't bloom again ... especially the iris won't bloom again.

It gets a little trickier when trying to protect your trees.

"When the trees get storm damage, it's never pretty," said Michael Sundberg, district manager for the Davey Tree Expert Company.

Most trees have already leafed out, meaning limbs are more likely to break under the weight of that wet, heavy snow.

"That's why it's important, if you can, knock off snow," Sundberg said. "You're saving future problems for the tree. You're also not losing that canopy loss, especially if you get a lot of breakage."

Brushing the snow off is a pretty straight-forward process.

For a mid-sized tree, Sundberg said, "a long broomstick or something, you can do a pretty good job shaking off excessive weight. Or even shaking the trunk of the tree enough to drop snow off."

Anything larger than a mid-sized tree, Sundberg says most may be out of luck.

"Once you get anything bigger, you kind of have to cross your fingers and hope for the best," he said.

The metro area certainly has many trees that tower over homes and power lines, which could create safety hazards in the event they fall over. That's why Xcel Energy says they have ramped up 24-hour emergency crews and are on standby for power outages, which are possibly expected from this storm.