Posted on: 19 January 2017
Winter may not seem like a time to worry about summer thunderstorms and high winds, but when it comes to your trees, winter is the best time to address these concerns. This is because winter is the prime time to prune and do some basic maintenance on most trees. What you do now could save you major damage when the clouds roll in later.
#1: Remove weak wood
In most storms, the first branches to come down will be those that are already damaged or weak. Unfortunately, coming down in a storm increases the chances of the branch causing further damage to the tree or even to your property below. Prune out any branches that are dead, are visibly diseased, or have a weak join. A weak join is when the branch attaches to the trunk at an angle greater than 45 degrees—this makes the branch more likely to bend and break off.
#2: Look for friction trouble
Friction is another issue that can lead to weak branches that are more prone to coming down in a storm. When pruning, you must inspect the branches to make sure there are no two that are regularly rubbing together. The area where they rub will develop thinner bark, which will make the affected branches more prone to pests, diseases, and breakage. Trim out the weaker of the two branches to solve the issue.
#3: Remove problem protectors
Some problems lurk at the base of your tree. Fallen leaves and needles from the fall can harbor the overwintering eggs of insect pests or disease organisms just waiting to attack your tree. Another issue is if the old leaf litter is resting against the trunk, it's going to trap moisture against the wood, and that can lead to rot. These problems weaken a tree, increasing the chances that it will topple in high winds. Clean up the old leaves now before the problems awaken in spring.
#4: Plan to avoid drought stress
Winter is also a good time to plan for summer drought, which can weaken a tree's roots so that the tree blows down when the first summer thunderstorm rolls in. Aerate the soil around the base of the tree as soon as the ground thaws in late winter. This way all that spring moisture can sink down to the roots. If there isn't grass growing under the tree, then lay down a two-inch layer of mulch. This will suppress weed growth so weedy plants don't compete with your tree for water. Just pull back the mulch so it doesn't touch the tree trunk.
For more help, talk to a professional tree care and trimming company such as Show Me Tree Service in your area.Share