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Branches of trees can break due to the excessive weight of ice or snow. Proper pruning encourages the formation of the strongest possible branches and branch attachments. When pruning alone isn’t enough, properly installed cables and rigid braces can add support to a weakened part of the tree.
Winter winds cause evergreens to lose moisture from their needles. Even some deciduous trees suffer from winter drying. If water is not available as moisture is drawn from living cells, permanent damage will result. The best prevention consist of planting only hardy species in areas of prolonged exposure, watering plants adequately in the fall, and mulching to insulate the soil and roots from sever cold.
On sunny days in winter, the tree’s trunk and main limbs can warm to 15 degrees higher than the air temperature. As soon as the sun’s rays stop reaching the stem, its temperature plummets, causing injury or permanent damage to the bark. The two main types of injury are known as sun scald and frost cracking. The effects of sun scald and frost cracking can be reduced by sound arboricultural practices to maintain overall health, and also by covering the trunks of young, susceptible trees with a suitable tree wrap.
Winter is a good time to prune
Most skilled arborists prefer pruning when trees are dormant. With no leaves on the tree, the arborist is better able to evaluate its architecture and spot dead or diseased branches. In addition, since the ground is frozen, damage to the turf underneath the tree from falling limbs and tire tracks is negligible. This is also a good time to check trees for diseases and other damage.
Here are some other ways the Tree Care Industry Association recommends to improve the health of you living landscape:
If you need professional help determining the overall health of your trees, please call today to set up a free consultation with one of our certified arborists.
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