While we all may have differing opinions on the desirability of snow, we do know that snow does have some benefits for trees and plantings. One major benefit of a good snow cover is that the snow functions as an excellent insulator of the soil. Without snow, very cold temperatures can freeze the soil deeper and deeper, which could lead to damage of root systems and shrubs.
Snow can also provide insulations for perennials, bulbs and ground covers from alternating freezing and thawing cycles. Without snow, milder temperatures could warm the soil and cause damage from heaving, which can break roots and dry out plants.
An additional positive of snow is the enhanced visibility of many trees in the Arboretum. Trees with ornamental bark and /or berries appear brilliant against the white backdrop. Even our favorite evergreens can look much greener with a background of snow and a bright red cardinal or robin sitting in them.