While many trees were not affected by the heavy snow and ice from Blizzard Nemo (by the way, my kids loved the name!), almost everyone’s trees suffered some significant injury. We are seeing a lot of damage in the form of a “rip”, where entire branches are slowly stripped down the length of the trunk. Many other branches may have bent under the weight of snow and ice and then eventually broke. Most of these injuries, while not immediately lethal, will slowly weaken the tree and compromise its appearance and overall health.
Regardless of the type of damage, our advice is the same: think about each tree, branch and situation individually…
Is more than 1/2 of the tree damaged or broken? If yes, it is best to remove and replace it or consider a new use for the space. Sometimes, storms and their resulting damage reveal new opportunities for change that we wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Mother Nature has a way of taking out weak growth and vulnerable branches. Trust that maybe what is gone should be, and that maybe this can help you explore new possibilities.
If only a few branches, tips or parts are broken, start by making a clean, downward facing cut below the end of the damaged piece. Step back and assess the new shape and appearance. Keep in mind that there is an entire growing season on its way… with leaves and blossoms on the tree, the overall shape may be different but not necessarily unattractive! Losing branches opens up the canopy and allows more light to enter the crown of the tree. With more light, new growth will spring out from the center, creating a bushier tree overall. With larger, woody trees, this may take more than one season.
Too much work to do yourself? Dull tools? Plain old not enough time?
We are happy to come and do an assessment and can remove damaged plants and fallen material from your property. Want more? We can make ornamental tree care part of a spring clean up of your property. We will clear debris, create clean edges and mulch your beds. Please give us a call to set up a courtesy consultation so we can help you with your specific needs!