As the snow begins to melt after a long, harsh winter, homeowners will soon be able to catch their first glimpse of the weather’s impact on their landscaping. Between the ice, cold temperatures and plentiful use of melting salt, there is likely to be a few casualties from the winter weather.

The good news is that many areas had a consistent snow cover lasting several months. This blanket of snow is actually good for plants and grass since it insulates them and keeps them protected. At the same time, ice is bad for grass because it can freeze plant cells and crush blades of grass, causing it to die. Ice can also lead to broken or damaged branches.

While the full impact of the winter weather won’t be known until late spring or early summer, certain tasks can be done as soon as the snow and ice melts. These include removing broken branches and winter-damaged leaves from the yard and assessing the grass for dead spots. As the weather warms up, grass changes from brown to green; however, if grass has died, it won’t change color.

As the spring progresses, it will be easier to make decisions about how much pruning to do and to see if any grass or plants need replacing.