Butchart Gardens loses 2 trees to West Coast snowstorm
'Wednesday night was a bit of a stinker because it went from snow to rain'
A crabapple tree and a silk tree at Butchart Gardens were lost during this week's West Coast snow storm.
As the heavy snow turned to rain on Wednesday, staff tried to reduce the load by knocking snow off all the tree canopies.
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Rick Los is the director of horticulture at Butchart Gardens and he says they have had about 30 centimetres of snow in recent days.
"Wednesday night was a bit of a stinker because it went from snow to rain," Los said.
"We just couldn't get high enough into the canopy to reduce the snow load. On both occasions, the trees fell over."
Heavy snow affects certain plants more
Los says staff had to be careful when using bamboo sticks to knock the snow off trees.
"If you don't know what you are doing, you can do more damage than good. You do have to know about your plant material.
"Some plants are obviously more brittle than others. Some plants you wouldn't even touch, because of the chance the branches could snap because they are so weighted down."
Los has been with Butchart for 29 years, and he says this kind of storm is rare but adds that he has seen worse.
"The big snow fall of '96 was three times the snow and 20 times the damage."
According to Los, the snow can also bring benefits to a garden.
"To have everything buried, it's like an insulating blanket. The garden is kind of tucked away to bed."
As far as the lost trees are concerned, Los calls it a chance to plant something more beautiful.
He also wants to emphasize that, despite the recent inclement weather, Butchart Gardens is still open for business.