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Conifers are commonly planted in North America to provide year-round screening, as windbreaks or as focal trees in the landscape.
Ice or snow loads can cause branch breakage or failure of entire trees and shrubs. Branches or entire trees that fall in storms can impact homes, vehicles, power lines and block roads.
Intensively managed landscapes, like those found in many public gardens, attempt to mitigate the impact of significant weather events through irrigation, improving soil characteristics, and mulching.
As the pace of urban development increases, urban green spaces, and urban trees in particular, come in direct conflict with bulldozers and backhoes.