Can Snow Banks Damage My Tree?

When large amounts of snow accumulate, we put a much smaller emphasis on where we push the snow because our main concern at the time is clearing our sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. These snow banks can be both beneficial and damaging for nearby trees and shrubs.

On the plus side, snow banks around the trunk of your tree can insulate tree roots from harsh winds, freezing temperatures, and provide some hydration.

On the downside, snow and ice buildup can cause cracks to form or branches to break as temperatures fluctuate between freezing and thawing. These snow banks often contain salt or de-icers as well, which inhibit a tree roots’ ability to absorb water, oxygen, and nutrients and can cause salt burn.

When possible, consider redirecting snow away from trees while clearing it, and switching from traditional rock salts to calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, or other plant friendly deicers.

Learn more about protecting your trees or discover signs you have a tree in need of trimming, pruning, or removal at