Winter weather can have an impact on more than just driving conditions. Your trees on your property are one of these things that can be impacted by heavy snowfall. Winter tree protection comes in many forms, but what these methods share is their focus on being proactive.
You’ve probably noticed downed trees, broken limbs, and power outages in your region following intense storms. The trees on your property are not immune and can also fall victim to these damages during winter weather. One of the biggest concerns with trees around your home during winter weather is hazardous falls or breaks that can damage your home or other nearby possessions. Identifying tree failure and weaknesses on a regular basis (and especially before storm season) should be a key component on your winter tree protection checklist.
Here Are Some Tips For Identifying Tree Defects That Can Lead To Tree Failure (Especially In Winter Weather):
- Root Defects – A tree’s root system is what anchors it into the ground. If the tree’s root system is compromised or weakened, there is a higher chance of your tree uprooting or being blown over in severe winter weather or any storm that involves high wind speeds.
- Dying Limbs Or Wood – A tree with dead limbs or portions of dead wood is much more susceptible to storm damage. When a weakened or dead limb endures the added weight of snow and ice during a storm, it often cannot withstand it and breaks. If this is a very large branch, (if it breaks and falls to the ground) your home or any other possessions within its path can suffer serious and costly damages. Did you know that most homeowner insurance policies do not cover tree/storm damages associated with negligence or maintenance-related issues? Meaning if your tree is extremely rotted or in bad condition and deemed a hazard but not dealt with, any damages associated with it falling may not be covered.
- Leaning – Your tree may appear to be healthy, but if it is excessively leaning, this could be a warning sign that your tree is growing incorrectly, and with that comes weaknesses. Generally, out-of-the-ordinary growing patterns indicate overall weakness and/or structural imbalance, but not always! It’s best to have your leaning tree inspected by a professional to determine its hazard level.
- Decay Or Cracks – If you tree has some deep splits in its bark, or areas of decay indicated by soft or missing portions of wood, this is likely a sign that you tree is suffering from illness, which could create hazardous conditions.
- Size In Relation To Placement – If your tree or its canopy is just overwhelmingly large for its location (right next to your home), this will always increase risk of storm damage. Larger branches catch wind much easier, and depending on the intensity of wind, they can snap under the pressure. Knowing where to plant trees in correlation to your home and each other is important. Read more on this HERE.
Winter Tree Protection Practices To Prevent Tree Failure:
- Proper Pruning – Thinning the tree canopy can help wind to blow through branches instead of against it. Additionally, assessing for, and removing, weakened limbs is key.
- Regular Inspections – By proactively inspecting the trees on your property, you can find weaknesses, pests, or disease, allowing you to implement the proper plan of action. You do not want to wait until a limb falls or damage occurs to discover a problem with your tree.
- Properly Treating Sick Trees – If during your inspection it is determined that your tree is suffering from a pest or disease that is treatable, we can formulate the proper integrated pest management solution to nurse your tree back to health and reduce hazard risks.
- Removing Dead Trees When Necessary – If we determine that a particular tree on your property cannot be treated but poses a risk to your home and/or other trees, we can remove the tree, and with that, the risks.
- Protecting Trees & Shrubs From Winter Damage – Weakened trees are not the only potential tree problems associated with winter weather. There are some defects that can occur on previously healthy trees or plants because of winter. Some of these potential issues are deer and frost damage. Winter tree protection against deer and frost is another great proactive measure to take before winter weather hits. Click HERE for some methods of winter tree protection against deer and HERE for some winter tree protection methods against frost.
The highly trained professionals at Red Cedar can help to inspect the trees on your property, properly diagnose issues, and put into place the best course of action to reduce the risks associated with winter weather. Did you know that having your tree work done in winter can actually save you money? Find out how HERE. Contact Red Cedar today for your free consultation!