Groundhugging shrubs.

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cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Luckily our snow is usually lighter than yours, Mark, and usually doesn't go as icey as it melts.. I thought after all of our up and down warm weather in early Feb,  with melting days (though more settling than real melting away from buildings) and warm temps that our snow would be icier, but I had to dig a path some tens of metres to another section of bush for firewood cutting, the other day, and surprisingly, the snow (18inches or so in that area) was  granular but still very loose apart from a thin crust a few inches from the surface (from the warm spell)..
the exceptions were a few places where tracks crossed the path, those were frozen, and around a spruce, where icy melt had fallen into the snow..

We are supposed to be above freezing next week, so we'll see if this stuff starts to go, will take some time, esp in the shade where snow can linger very late...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Even our usually loose snow takes it toll on shrubs especially when it gets wet in spring rain. I have seen such hard snow in the mountains in southern France but it is rare here, it develops when you have repeatedly strong sun/cold nights. What you call crust Cohan, we call "skare" and it is what we want for Easter! Then you can ski wherever you want (if the day doesn't get too hot) 8)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Sometimes we get enough skare to walk on, but not usually for an adult, and not usually for very long/far.. skiing would be more possible, but you couldn't ski in the bush here--not enough space between shrubs/trees etc...lol snowshoes, maybe...
In some places in the mixed woods where the snow is only a half foot deep anyway, you can walk a bit more on the skare...

Rain of any volume in spring is quite rare, here.. usually we are dry in spring except for late snow! That is probably the most dangerous snow for shrubs/trees here: we can have heavy wet snowfall when things are already leafed out, that is when branches break! Maybe this is why most native trees do not make very large limbs to start with?

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

cohan wrote:

Sometimes we get enough skare to walk on, but not usually for an adult, and not usually for very long/far.. skiing would be more possible, but you couldn't ski in the bush here--not enough space between shrubs/trees etc...lol snowshoes, maybe...
In some places in the mixed woods where the snow is only a half foot deep anyway, you can walk a bit more on the skare...

Rain of any volume in spring is quite rare, here.. usually we are dry in spring except for late snow! That is probably the most dangerous snow for shrubs/trees here: we can have heavy wet snowfall when things are already leafed out, that is when branches break! Maybe this is why most native trees do not make very large limbs to start with?

You'll be astonished where I can ski! When my daughters were kids we always went through the densest birch woods for joy ;D Even with skareføre (thick crust which carry a skier) you often sink to your waist when loosing tempo in the birch-wood where the snowpack is loose :o We had a special wood called "sikk-sakk-skogen" (the-zig-zag-wood) where we loved to ski.

I have also noticed that trees (especially pines) from areas with heavy snow have shorter limbs. Quite obvious why.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Clearly you are more ambitious skiers than me  ;D Actually, I'm sure you could dodge the trees easily enough here, but the tangle of rose, ribes, loniceras, shepherdia etc on the ground I think would be very hard to ski through without getting stuck, and the snow is not deep enough to bury them completely; Likewise, wet areas with dense willow, birch and alder--all dense clusters of thin trunks, are very hard even to walk through...
Spruce limbs here are not terribly short, but nor are they very thick, and they are very flexible, so they have no problem.. Poplars and birches can have a bit of an issue with wet heavy snow, usually only once they are in leaf...
We have a long weekend at the end of May--popular time for a late heavy snow  ;D

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I know too well the damge from compacted snow as it melts...I used to have plenty of rhododendrons but have replaced most with deciduous azaleas as the latter are not so prone to the pancake effect.

I am rather fond of our native prostrate form of Shepherdia canadensis...it is a truly prostrate form and comes true from seed (as they don't root for beans from cuttings)

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Todd, that one is a winner! I really like it ;D
If you have spare seed I would love to try it ;)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Todd wrote:

I know too well the damge from compacted snow as it melts...I used to have plenty of rhododendrons but have replaced most with deciduous azaleas as the latter are not so prone to the pancake effect.

I am rather fond of our native prostrate form of Shepherdia canadensis...it is a truly prostrate form and comes true from seed (as they don't root for beans from cuttings)

WOW! I had no idea that existed! Would love to grow that :) The standard form is common here..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Wow, put me on the someday list for that special seed too, please, Todd!

Do you see a difference in growth between male and female plants?  We are supposed to have Shepherdia canadensis and S. argentea here, but I think I have only seen S. argentea.

Is that an Erica sp. that I see it growing with?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I'll guess it is an Empetrum, crowberry!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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