After the Storm

Properly Pruning Damaged Trees


pruning

There’s a peacefulness after it snows—before the snow day sledders emerge—where the world seems quiet and serene. White flakes glitter from the tree branches, dressing them in winter’s wonder. All is right with the world until you hear the dreaded crack. As lovely as a winter wonderland can be, pruning damaged trees is also a part of the season.

What to Watch For While Pruning

While the weather isn’t always easily forecasted, you can help protect your trees from the worst. Pay close attention to the plants with soft, brittle branches. If it looks like only small branches are broken, your tree is likely to survive without much repair. It’s when large branches are broken that you’ll want to consider pruning. Look for the following signs of a healthy tree:

  • The main leading branch is still intact.
  • Most of the major branches are not broken.
  • At least 50 percent of its crown is spared.

If any of the branches have become entangled with power lines, fell on a structure, or are creating an obstacle along public sidewalks, a professional should be called to fix the issue.

How to Remove Ice and Snow from Trees

While it may look like heavy snow and ice will bend the branches to the breaking point, it’s important not to hit or shake the branches to remove the snow. This could cause even more damage. Instead, prop severely bent branches up with a pole, and let the snow and ice naturally melt.

Properly Pruning Damaged Trees

The main goal in helping a tree survive major damage is to minimize the open wounds and help them heal quickly. Here are some tips for accomplishing this:

  1. Trim broken branches flush along the main stem.
  2. Only trim broken branches, even if the tree looks unbalanced when you’re done. It will naturally fill itself back out, but not if you over prune.
  3. Consult with a certified arborist if you’re unsure which branches need to stay or go.

Preventing Storm Damaged Trees

One of the best ways to keep your trees strong is proper pruning that keeps them healthy. Prune during the dormant season to help trees grow more resilient. When pruning isn’t done right, it can have the opposite effect and storms could do even more damage. Pruning large trees should be left to the professionals to ensure it’s done right. Contact Elite Tree Care for more information on preventing and repairing storm damage and gain peace of mind this season.

Tree Pruning Guide

Download Your FREE Tree Pruning Guide

Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service.