Take Initiative in Maintaining Your Trees Before the Snow. You'll be Happy You Did

By: albertaarb - October 17, 2014

As the fall rolls in, there is plenty that you, as a homeowner, need to do to ready your outdoor space for the winter. The leaves will need to be raked, and the summer furniture will need to be safely stored. What many people forget to do is think about maintaining trees prior to winter.

It is a good idea to have all the trees on your property looked at and pruned, if necessary, prior to the winter. Not only will it ensure their health, but it will ensure your safety, as well.

Maintaining Trees

One way of ensuring the maintenance of your trees is regular pruning. Pruning can be done in the late fall, after all of the leaves have fallen from the tree. A qualified arborist, during the process of pruning will:

  1. Remove dead or damaged branches
  2. Balance the branches to ensure structural integrity
  3. Cut back the tree so it does not impede on other properties
  4. Ensure the health and safety of the tree during the winter months.

Some arborists argue that trees can be trained in their early years, so they do not become a problem in their later years. This practice involves regular pruning to keep the tree balanced, and the proper support around small, growing trees so they are not subjected to undue stress.

Some trees will require more specialized care to ready them for the winter. For example, fruit trees, particularly fig trees, need to be covered during the winter to prevent the harsh weather from damaging the delicate tree. If you are unsure about your current trees, it is best to speak to an arborist about maintaining trees on your property.

Tree Planting

If you are looking to add trees to your property, the best time to plant trees is in the late fall, after they’ve gone dormant. Most arborists recommend planting trees in late November. If you miss the window before the winter, experts suggest waiting until March. At this point, the trees are still dormant, but the ground will be soft enough for an effective plant.

Small trees may need to be wrapped to protect them from the elements. They may also need to be structurally supported through the winter to ensure that snow does not damage the delicate branches.

Tree Removal

While removing a tree should be a last resort, there are scenarios in which a tree is too damaged and cannot be helped. In these cases, the tree poses a significant risk, as an unbalanced, unhealthy tree is more likely to fall or cause damage to your home or property. In these cases, the tree will have to be removed. This should be done in the fall, prior to the first snowfall.

Heavy snow, in particular, poses a risk to you, your family and your property. The heavy snow can lead to tree branches breaking and falling. In extreme cases, it can lead to the entire tree falling.

To remove a potentially hazardous tree, you’ll want to call professionals who deal in the business of maintaining trees. They can assess the tree and help you make the best decision for yourself, the tree and your property. And they can bring the tree down safely so it does not cause damage. 

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