Winter Tree Damage

Winter Tree Damage

If you live in a climate that has harsh winters or even in an area where the winters get very cold, you likely have concerns about the damage that may occur to your trees throughout these harsh months. Recognizing winter tree damage caused by cold temperatures is one of the first steps that you can take in order to know when the trees are getting the care they need or if you need to call in a professional tree care service for some help. Here are some signs that your trees might be suffering from winter damage.

Winter Tree Damage

Broken Branches

When there is a lot of snow in an area, a build-up of snow on tree branches can cause them to break. Especially if the branches are damaged or weak, to begin with. The weight of the snow is very heavy. This means even somewhat healthy branches can come down when the weight becomes too much.

If there are broken branches in your trees, you should not try to get them down yourself. If the branches fall on a power line, make sure that you contact your electric company along with a professional tree care company. The electric company will shut off power as necessary. Then a professional tree service will be able to safely remove all of the debris for you.

Browning Needles

Another sign that you have winter tree damage is if you notice needles that are turning brown on your evergreens. This browning is called winter burn. During the winter months, trees become dry because of a lack of water in combination with salt injury. In order to prevent winter burn from occurring you should make sure that you add mulch to the ground surrounding your trees and water the trees regularly. Make sure that the mulch is done correctly to prevent possible damage.

Cracking and Splitting Bark

During the winter months, you might hear a sound that sounds like a rifle shot going off. You could see bulges or cracks in the bark of the tree. This could be a sign of sunscald or frost cracking. Both of these things are common threats to trees in the winter as temperatures fluctuate. This causes the bark of the tree to freeze and then warm-up. When this occurs the cells of the bark will die off and then split. Vertical racking or splitting bark can be prevented by using burlap or chicken wire that is stuffed with straw to help insulate the tree from temperature fluctuation. Remove this insulation when the winter weather starts to warm up to prevent diseases and pests from moving in.

Root Damage

During the winter months, a tree might experience damage to the roots. This is more common if they are young trees. When soil heaving occurs, the contracting and expanding of the soil as it freezes and then begins to thaw, can push the roots out and expose them. Mulching during the fall months can help with this problem.

Bark Discoloration

If the bark on your trees starts to become discolored, it could be a sign that it is suffering from a salt injury. When paths and roads are treated during the winter months with salt, it can be detrimental to your trees. Some of the symptoms of salt damage are:

  • Discoloration of bark
  • Browning needles
  • Premature dropping of needles from evergreens.

To minimize salt injury, choose trees that are tolerant to salt and avoid planting trees in areas that are salted heavily during the winter months. For more tips on protecting your trees in the winter months, contact Omaha Tree Services.

Omaha Tree Services

At Omaha Tree, we recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre site at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact us today.