First Snow


We were just into meteorological winter–which began December 1–when the snow started falling.

We were lucky. We just got the tail end of the storm that began out West the day before Thanksgiving.

Still, it started snowing about 1 PM Sunday and snowed, sleeted, and maybe poured down a little freezing rain until Tuesday morning. That’s why there’s actually so little snow. The sleet and freezing rain packed down a lot of what fell Sunday into Monday morning.


This, however, is becoming a perpetual problem. This is all snow, on a Japanese maple. Because the tree loses its leaves so late, it bows down under the weight of the snow. I need to find a different place for my car. It hasn’t been damaged yet, but this is about the third time this has happened. I can’t keep taking chances.

It probably saves the tree though.


When we have this much snow, I run out of places to pile it when I am shoveling. I sure hope we have some melting before the next storms!

4 thoughts on “First Snow

  1. The Chatsworth Lady December 13, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    We got about 3″ of heavy wet snow dumped on us overnight from Sunday to Monday. Enough of it settled on the cable running from the utility pole to the house to result in a sag of about five feet and knock out my tv/internet service in the process. Had to wait about 30 hours for a repair appointment. It also half-flattened the small ‘Mini Twists’ pine planted this summer, and it still looks unhappy. I will need to rig up some kind of temporary ‘roof’ over it before the next snowstorm. The other dwarf pines are fine but apparently that one’s branches are a bit weaker. 😦

  2. gardendaze December 13, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    I have 2 small arborvitae in containers on either side of my steps. They survived the last 3 winters and all the snow just fine. This year, they must be getting just tall enough to do all that stuff that makes arborvitae a problem. One leaned over, looking for all the world as if it were doing a yoga pose. The other did the classic split in the middle thing. I managed to rescue both before any harm was done–but I can see that next year I will need to do the panty hose wrap routine. Of course, I will have to seek out some pantyhose. Thankfully, I have no occasion to wear them anymore!


  3. tonytomeo December 23, 2019 / 11:29 am

    That really looks bad for the tree. Japanese maples are not very flexible.I would be inclined to prune it aggressively; but that might defeat the purpose of growing a Japanese maple.

  4. gardendaze December 23, 2019 / 11:40 am

    If you can believe it, we DID prune it aggressively 2 years ago to avoid just such a problem. The next year (last year) we did a lighter pruning to also try to solve the issue. What you see in the photo are the leaves that the tree holds onto well into mid-winter. That’s the real issue–that’s why snow causes the tree to bow down like that.

    In my climate, Japanese maples DON’T lose their leaves completely in the fall. They hold onto them to protect then tender bud underneath from the cold and frost. As winter progresses, the leaves gently slough off as the sap slows and the tree hardens off. It’s a gradual thing–unless a heavy, wet snow forces its hand.


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