Wet snow that accumulates on tree and shrub branches can bend them over. Some may break and so must be removed. Bending damages the bark and cambium tissue, leading to cankers or death of the stem the following growing season.
Shrubs that would collapse under heavy snow loads can be protected or supported. To protect small shrubs, place crates or wooden frames over them in the fall. The crate or the slats on the frame will support some of the snow load. Taller shrubs can be wrapped with cord. Tie the cord to the base of a stem and then wind it around the shrub. The tied bundle of stems will help support one another.