It’s not hard to overlook our trees in winter. Once they lose their leaves and the snow starts flying, they can easily be forgotten about. It’s especially true in January and February. But you may not realize that this is the time of year when our trees are susceptible to injury.
Of course, we’re seeing our heavy snows, sub-zero lows, and high winds like we normally do. But severe weather events cause the biggest issues for trees and shrubs. And to make matters worse, they’re very difficult to capture in long-range forecasts.
So, to make sure that you’re prepared, let’s take a look at some of the things that damage trees in winter.
Ironically, it’s typically when we’re nearing the end of the winter months when the danger really ramps up. One of the first things to worry about is extreme temperature changes.
The most common cause of freezing damage for trees in winter (in Michigan) typically happens in late winter/early spring. That’s when we often experience rapid warmups that increase dehardening followed by a sudden temperature drop.
This is not only tough for trees to deal with, but shrubs can also feel the effects of rapidly changing temperatures. Just be sure to include your shrubs in your tree care plan to ensure that they survive winter, too.
Heavy Snow Can Break Branches
Those changing temperatures can also cause snowfall to get stickier and heavier, which is not good for tree limbs. Heavy snow causes trees and tree limbs to fall. All of the weight from the snow can cause branches to bend and eventually break. This can lead to power outages or property damage.
Your best defense is to use a broom to knock the snow off of the branches. Shaking the branches to get the snow off can do more harm than good.
Winter winds can dry out evergreens and cause their needles to lose moisture. If you can’t water them as moisture is being drawn out from the trees living cells, it can result in permanent damage.
The best way to prevent this from happening is by watering your trees and shrubs adequately in the fall. Mulching will insulate your soil and roots. This will protect them from severely cold weather. Or just get into the habit of planting only hardy species in areas of prolonged exposure,
Safari Tree Can Help
The safest thing you can do is to hire a tree care professional. They’ll have the experience, expertise, and equipment to safely take down, prune and care for damaged trees.
Safari Tree offers a 7-step tree and shrub healthcare program that’s designed for Michigan’s ever-changing climate. For more information on how Safari Tree can help keep your yard looking its best, contact us today.