A rough winter can be hard on trees no matter their size. Heavy ice and snow can snap off branches and strong winds can topple trees. If you have to deal with tree damage after a winter storm, you'll have to decide if you should wait for spring to determine the full extent of damage or if you need to prune the tree right away. A tree care service can help you make the right decision and carry out the treatments your tree needs. Here are some steps that might be necessary.
Cut Off Weak Branches Or Limbs
If a branch is obviously broken beyond the ability to save it, pruning the tree during the winter is best so the tree doesn't pose a danger to your property. It's best to cut the branch off rather than have it fall on your house, car, or pets. The tree care service will cut the tree using the proper technique so the cuts don't make the tree weak or sick.
Remove A Fallen Tree
It's sad to see a mature tree knocked down or damaged beyond saving by a winter storm, but if that happens, you'll need a tree service to remove the tree from your property in a timely manner. When spring returns, you can plant a new tree in its place and get the tree off to a healthy start before cold weather returns.
Support A Damaged Branch
It might be possible to save a branch that has a split by supporting it with wire to stabilize the branch so the wind doesn't finish snapping it off. When growth kicks in during the spring, the branch might heal itself, but it's difficult to know in advance if that will happen when the tree is dormant in the winter. A tree service can advise you on whether a damaged limb has to go or if it can try to be saved safely.
Prune The Tree The Following Spring
It's not always possible to identify tree damage right away. You may not see the full extent of the damage until the following spring when the tree starts growing again. This is when dead limbs become apparent and then the tree service can prune those away and balance out the tree so it is healthy and has a pleasing appearance.
A tree service can also advise you on how to care for a tree during the remainder of the cold weather so even if it's damaged, it has a better chance of surviving until spring. This might involve the timing of fertilizer and water or just leaving the tree alone until the weather warms up and the risk of further damage from ice has passed.