With Thanksgiving just a few days away, you may have noticed that your trees are just about bare this winter season. Now that most trees have lost their leaves, it’s an excellent time to assess their safety and condition. Winter is the ideal time to prune most tree varieties. During the dormant season, a tree is less vulnerable to disease and insects. While deadwood in a tree is a natural and common occurrence, it’s important to have a certified arborist remove any dead branches. Removing deadwood helps to ensure that a tree will be able to put all its energy towards living growth while preventing any damage or injury associated with deadwood falls.
During the winter, your certified arborist at Mountain West Arbor Care suggests looking out for the following signs for detecting deadwood in a tree:
No Leaf Drop
It’s important to look for branches that have held onto their leaves. Branches that have retained their leaves after all the other leaves have dropped off is a good indication of deadwood. However, it’s important to be aware that some tree varieties keep their leaves longer into the dormant season. These types of tree include Oak, Beech, and Sapling trees.
Smooth wood or an area lacking bark is also a sign of deadwood. While bark tends to fall off naturally from a tree, a healthy tree will replace it with new layers of bark. When a branch has died, however, new bark is not generated. Instead, the old bark falls off, exposing the smooth tree layers underneath.
The Scratch Test
If bark is missing, and you’re unsure if a branch is dead, you can scrape the wood slightly. If the exposed layer is green, then the branch is still living. If it’s brown, however, the branch is dead. This is true during any season of the year.
Preventative Tree Care
Once deadwood has been identified, pruning it out of the tree is the next step. Pruning deadwood from a tree can be incredibly dangerous. That’s why it’s important to hire a skilled professional like the ISA Certified Arborist at Mountain West Arbor Care to perform the job. Homeowners should never attempt to remove deadwood on their own. Not only is it not worth the risk, it will likely cause more problems than it solves.
Contact Mountain West Arbor Care at 1.800.767.8733 for more information on locating and removing deadwood in a tree. Our certified arborist will provide you with a no- cost, no obligation quote along with preventative tree care services that you can depend on .