Snow And Your Shrubs: Beneficial Or Harmful?

Snow is beautiful to look at, but a pain to drive in. It’s fun to play in, but it’s a nuisance to shovel. You might get a snow day, or maybe your car gets stuck on your way to work. No matter how you look at it, there are benefits and there are drawbacks when it comes to snow.

Now think about snow on your shrubs. Is it beneficial, or harmful? We’re here to answer that question. You have invested your hard earned time and money into your shrubs this year, so knowing how to best care for them in the winter is essential! Let’s first look at the benefits to snow on your shrubs:

Benefit #1: Snow Works As An Insulator

One of the biggest threats your shrubs will face this winter is the freezing cold winds. These winds can freeze the ground, which results in damaged root systems. Also, your shrubs have stored water to ensure survival through the winter months. Cold, dry winds can cause that stored water to freeze, which will ultimately damage the cell walls.

Thankfully, the snow works as an excellent insulator, which can protect your shrubs from potential damage caused by these winds. Snow will keep the soil significantly warmer than it would be if it were exposed to the elements.

Benefit #2: Snow Works As A Natural Fertilizer

When snow falls through the atmosphere, it picks up bits and pieces of nitrogen and sulfur. Once the snow melts, these natural nutrients are deposited into the soil and they act as a natural fertilizer. Ultimately, the soil structure is improved which helps your shrubs survive in the winter months, and thrive come spring.

Benefit #3: Snow Works As A Pest Preventative

With winter comes unwanted pests that latch onto, or hide under your shrubs until springtime. These pests can cause serious damage to your shrubs by stealing moisture and other essential nutrients, or by eating the leaves/branches leaving them exposed to the elements.

The snow will aid in preventing pests from making their winter home in, or near your shrubs. Also, while snow protects your shrubs from the freezing cold temperatures, it does not protect these pests. So while these pests die off in the cold, your shrubs will live on.

Benefit #4: Snow Is Aesthetically Pleasing

A nice coating of snow on your shrubs is beautiful. The snow laying on the bark of the trees is beautiful, the colors on your shrubs are enhanced, and the overall appearance of your garden is improved!

Drawback #1:

One of the few drawbacks is an excessive amount of snow or ice can cause stress on your shrubs. Heavy amounts of snow or ice can result in branches breaking, and in extreme cases, a shrub becoming uprooted. If this occurs, you can gently brush the snow off your shrubs in an upward motion to relieve some of the stress, while still maintaining the aforementioned benefits.


At Greentech, our experts will come alongside you to create a yearlong plan to create healthy, growing shrubs. Give us a call at 1-800-LAWN-CARE to hear more about how we can help you protect your shrubs this winter. Contact us today!