A severe winter storm can cause power outages and impassable roads, keeping you stuck inside until conditions improve, but think of the havoc it wreaks on the world outside. Trees can be more vulnerable to storm damage than meets the eye; for example, the weight of ice and snow on upper branches may weaken the tree, even if it doesn’t cause it to fall. How do you know if your trees suffered damage from a winter storm? Here are a few telltale signs that you may need a tree pruning service sooner rather than later.
Obviously, an old growth tree with its roots torn out of the ground is not going to survive, but not every fallen tree is a lost cause. A young or small tree may be salvageable, especially if it is leaning and not completely downed. An arborist can look at those youngsters to see if they can be saved, perhaps tying them to a stake for extra support until the tree can stand upright on its own.
You would expect to see small sticks and other debris on the ground after a big storm, but if 50% or more of the larger branches and limbs are cracked or broken, the tree may not make it. In addition, those large branches could pose a safety risk if they are not removed. They could injure an unsuspecting person below or damage property, such as a fence or a vehicle.
Top of Trunk
If the weight of snow or ice is too much for the upper part of a tree to bear, it may cause permanent damage to the top of the main trunk. You may not be able to tell just by looking at it that the tree should come down, but an arborist can inspect the trunk to see how severe the damage is.
Split or Cracked Trunk
While sometimes a tree can be saved if the top of the trunk is damaged, the same may not be true if the trunk is split or cracked. This type of damage may go deeper into the heart of the trunk, leaving the tree vulnerable to infestation or disease when the weather warms up. Removal may be your only choice in this case.
Small patches of missing bark may not be too big a problem, but what about larger areas, especially if they are at the base or go around the tree’s circumference? Think of tree bark as you would skin; if you have a few scrapes, you would be fine, but you couldn’t protect your body from the elements, disease, or infection without skin. Trees also may have difficulty moving nutrients up the trunk or branches and leaves without an adequate bark structure.
A single tree that has winter damage may be easy to spot, but if you have several trees near each other, they may harm each other after a storm. Branches could fall from one tree to another, or a larger tree may block a smaller tree from getting the sunlight and rain it needs to thrive. Without enough room and proper pruning, a slightly damaged tree could put others in jeopardy.
Not a DIY Project
Removing branches, sections of trunk, or an entire tree that was damaged by a winter storm is not a project that a homeowner should attempt. Not only is tree removal a dangerous endeavour, it can also require specialized knowledge and experience that only a professional tree pruning service may have.
Instead of risking your physical safety or harm to your property, talk to the arborists at Martin’s Tree Service. We can help with pruning, removal, and even stump grinding.