In Holladay, Utah, homeowners never really know if the winter will bring mild temperatures or weeks of ice and snow. When it comes to preventative tree care, it’s best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Winter tree damage is usually dependent on a few key factors: the location, type of tree, the conditions in which it was planted, and the the extremity of the weather during the dormant season. Other causes include fluctuating temperatures, and how certain trees are affected if the weather goes beyond their tolerance level. It’s important to keep in mind that deciduous trees (trees that seasonally lose their leaves) are not as susceptible to winter injuries. However, trees like evergreens (that keep their foliage year-round) are particularly prone to winter damage.
Heavy Snow and Ice
Trees like Evergreens, Junipers, Arborvitaes, and Leyland Cypress, often occur injury due to the weight of ice and snow which can cause the tree to bend or break. By having a certified arborist prune these trees during their dormant period, weight can be redistributed and weak branches can be eliminated.
While salt is often used to clear roads and sidewalks of ice and snow it can cause extensive damage to nearby trees. Evergreens are especially susceptible to salt damage and can sustain injuries such as twig dieback or the browning or yellowing of its needles. The best way to avoid salt damage is to plant salt-tolerant trees like the Russian Olive, Eastern Red Cedar or Skip Laurel along roads and sidewalks instead.
Frost heaving results when soil expands and contracts during the continuous cycle of freezing and thawing. This type of fluctuation can cause the soil around the base of the tree to lift and heave, creating deep cracking that can possibly uproot trees and other plants. This in turn also leaves the roots of a tree exposed to the frigid winter temperatures. While frost heave in Utah is inevitable, it can be minimized if properly accounted for.
Raking and smoothing out depressions in the ground before a tree is planted can help prevent the creation of water pockets that can freeze. Applying mulch where suitable will also help to insulate the soil and regulate winter temperature fluctuations.
Preventative Tree Care
To prevent winter tree damage, it’s a good idea to have a certified arborist at Mountain West Arbor Care inspect your trees each year. Our qualified professionals can spot weaknesses in a tree’s structure and provide preventative tree care services like pruning to help prevent future damage.
Tree pruning can really make a difference when it comes to having a healthy, attractive tree rather than a storm damaged tree. Pruning out potential damage will also help to prevent any limbs from falling during winter storms while improving air-flow that in turn reduces the chances of pest infestation or uprooting.
If you’ve had limbs fall from your tree before, we recommend having our certified arborist come out to inspect it. Falling limbs, even small ones can indicate internal damage which in turn could lead to costlier, more dangerous damage down the road. Consider a no-cost, no-obligation quote from Mountain West Arbor Care today. Contact us at 1.800.767.8733