Prune Trees Now to Avoid Winter Damage
Even though it has been an unusually long and warm summer extending into fall, it is never too early to start thinking ahead to winter. In Texas, we experience wild weather swings, and winter is no exception. Warm days can be followed by ice and heavy snow, which puts a lot of stress on our trees. Therefore, preventative pruning is a must to keep our trees healthy and safe.
Preventative pruning is just that—thinking and acting ahead before a problem occurs in your trees. Trees need to “get in shape” to handle whatever the winter season throws their way. Many times, branches that fail in storms were either already diseased or dead; and upon falling, can cause damage to property or people.
Weak tree varieties
Certain species of trees are more susceptible to breakage. Soft wooded trees like pear and ash suffer the most, along with trees that keep their leaves longer into the winter, such as live oak. Those that keep their leaves retain more weight during snow and ice storms. It is important to be aware of the type of trees that are already in your existing landscape, or are being newly planted.
How do you spot bad branches?
Our ISA Certified Arborists are able to assess and identify any potential problem branches such as crisscrossing or overlapping, dead or diseased, and remove them. Oftentimes, we perform canopy thinning along with end-limb weight reduction to decrease the extra weight that causes limb breakage, especially after a wet, heavy snow or ice storm. Thinning the canopy increases airflow and light penetration to the lower branches and undergrowth, thus creating a better environment for the tree (and less disease pressure) and the surrounding environment with improved light.
When to start pruning?
Also, do not overlook the importance of pruning not only your mature trees, but also young ones. It is imperative to start young trees on a path of good tree health early on, thereby decreasing the chance of poor structure and breakage later.
Trees that are pruned properly and regularly have a better chance to withstand storm damage, and are more structurally sound. Not only is preventative pruning better for the tree, it can also improve the aesthetics and future growth of the tree, and in turn, your investment.
Posted: October 18, 2017