Trees in New Brunswick remain covered in ice after last week's storm

New Brunswick outreach workers say many of their clients are struggling with unanticipated expenses surrounding the December ice storm. (CBC)

Many trees in the province have been permanently damaged by last week's ice storm, says the head of Landscape New Brunswick.

The damage may not be as severe as that created by the ice storm of 1998, said executive director Jim Landry. But in many areas, branches are hanging and blocking roads from the weight of ice and snow.

"The legacy here is going to be the trees that are bent over," he said.

Landry says trees have a memory, and once bent, they will likely stay that way.

Trying to remove ice will only damage them more, he stressed.

"You might look at the tree and think, 'If I went out there and gave it a good shake I could knock all that ice off it,' but it doesn't work that way."

"The ice is clinging to the branches and the twigs and you'll find if you do that you're just shaking the branches off — not the ice, but the entire branch."

Could have been prevented

Landry contends much of the damage could have been prevented through maintenance and forethought.

"A lot of the trees that we plant tend to be planted too close to the house, or too close to the driveway if we think about how big a sugar maple or Norway maple will be ultimately," he said. "We have to consider that when we install them in our landscapes."

Betty Kennett, an avid gardener in Hampton, whose garden escaped unscathed, agrees.

"Prevention is the answer here," she said. "Look around and make sure you don't have beasties that are going to fall on you, your house, your garden, your garage, your car. Just keep it down."

Kennett says birch, maple and unpruned lilacs were most vulnerable to damage. She says homeowners should plant smaller trees that hold up better to winter conditions.