Calgary is well-known for its unbelievable hailstorms, which have caused millions and millions in damages. Some might remember the massive hailstorm of 2012, which pummeled the city in early August and left about $700 million in insured damages behind. There have been many more since. The bulk of those insurance costs came from dents and dings to vehicles, however those of us who love our gardens and outdoor spaces also looked on in dismay as our carefully planted greenery took a beating. As your southeast Calgary landscaping company, we at Mirage know how disappointing it can be to finally get your property looking the way you want it to, only to have it destroyed by a hailstorm.
Hailstorms in Calgary
It’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be a hailstorm this summer. Calgary is known as the hailstorm capital of Canada, and is located in the middle of what is known as Alberta’s “Hailstorm Alley.” The strip starts south of Calgary at High River, heads through the city up to Red Deer, then Lacombe, then turns west towards Rocky Mountain House. It is infamous for producing some of the worst hailstorms in the world, so much so that numerous storm watchers make their way to the province to catch their destructive nature during the “high season” of late July and early August (although hailstorms can occur from May through to the end of October).
Hail happens most often in areas that are landlocked and have wide, flat expanses. A fast-moving cold front can often bring hail, as it will quickly freeze the already existing moisture in clouds. If it starts to hail when you’re outside, move indoors quickly and stay away from with windows. If you are driving, get underneath shelter as fast as you can.
Some insurance companies have teamed up to begin cloud seeding efforts in an effort to mitigate the amount of damage caused by hailstorms. This involves airplanes “seeding” clouds with chemicals such as silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) to cause clouds to expel their moisture before they can form hail stones, or they can turn already formed hailstones into rain.
What to do About Hail Damage to Your Plants and Gardens
If your garden and green space has been damaged by hail, let Mirage, your experienced southeast Calgary landscaping company, know as soon as possible. The faster we respond, the better it will be for your plants.
Just as hailstones hitting our skin is painful, so is it for your plants. Leaves get shredded to bits, filled with holes and knocked completely off. Smaller, more decorative plants such as shrubs and perennials tend to take the brunt of the damage, as they are simply more delicate than larger deciduous trees and spruces. These are the first types of plantings we will check. However, trees can also be subject to damage from hail. Signs will include split and broken stems, and tops that have been smashed down and pitted. These wounds to your trees are perfect for allowing pests and disease to thrive, so should be taken care of immediately.
Steps we will take include:
- Clearing out debris
- Trimming off broken leaves and stems
- Pruning split branches
- Replacement of severely damaged plantings that do not improve within a week of the storm
A fertilizer application to your garden and lawn will provide much-needed nutrients to assist with regrowth. Often, the application of a fungicide to reduce the chance of pests and disease entering your plants can be considered as well.
Late Season Damage Can Be Helped By Mulch
A protective layer of mulch will help plants weakened by hail damage survive the often-brutal Calgary winter. Mulch has many benefits above and beyond providing an insulating safeguard against severe weather. It breaks down slowly over time, allowing nutrients to enter the soil, and also helps keep weeds down and to a minimum. Mulch is also water absorbent and works to spread moisture evenly over the ground, preventing wasteful runoff.
Mirage is Your Experienced Southeast Calgary Landscaping Company
Mirage’s family-owned company has been specializing in helping property owners throughout Calgary keep their homes and businesses looking great for three generations. Browse our online portfolio to get a sense of what we can do for your and your property. Services include landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and snow removal.
Contact us through our online form, enter your information and project details, and one of our team members will get in touch with you right away. We look forward to hearing from you!