I grew up in eastern NC, but I don't remember our loblollys snapping because of snow alone. If there was only snow the softness of the limbs (plus any wind) caused the snow to fall off branches rather than pile up.jasons2k wrote: ↑Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:23 amI suppose it depends on the location and species. Loblolly and southern longleaf pines are confined to eastern North Carolina. The pines in western North Carolina are better adapted to snow. At higher elevations you get into fir tree conifers, which can handle the snow just fine.
Birmingham is just far enough south to have more of the longleaf variety of pines. You can pull-up a map of Alabama on Google Earth or satellite view, and you can see the terrain in northern Alabama, north of Birmingham, the color of the vegetation transitions to a deeper green, especially on the ridges. This is because those pines are shortleaf pines and have a slightly darker, more blue-ish or olive color versus the bright green of southern pines.
Yes, ice is a major problem for pine trees. But during the storm, we heard lots of pines snapping during the night because of the weight of the heavy snow. It was eerie. The ice wasn’t really a problem until after the first day when the snow re-froze into ice. By then, the damage was already done.
Snow + ice was a different matter. Limb crushing.
I can't address pines in the Birmingham area and snow having only traveled through back and forth to ATL, NC, Texas... except those pines are brittle and prone to disease, insects, including fire ants. I'd only speculate that weakened branches probably cracked. If they were softer limbs, they probably would have been OK.