Winter brings many challenges for trees that are exposed to harsh weather and extreme temperatures. The most obvious is broken, twisted, bent, missing or hanging limbs in trees and shrubs. Safety situations demand first priority followed by repairs, re-shaping and pruning for aesthetics and the health of the plants. Cracks and breaks are also an open invitation for harmful insects and disease.
Speaking of cracks, freeze thaw days and nights can cause them along the bark of trees and shrubs. The freeze thaw cycle can also be quite damaging to shallow root systems.
Snow is also an issue in many areas. Salt used to clear roads and paved areas is bad for the nearby landscape. Sensitive plantings will be adversely affected and possibly even killed.
One thing an old fashioned winter won’t do is kill off harmful insects. Overwintering insects should be identified and treated before they can emerge and do damage in springtime when trees are working hard to develop new growth.
A winter inspection by a certified arborist is a great idea this time of year to maintain the health of trees through winter and help prepare them for spring.