Friday, February 14, 2014

GMG's Friday Find: Tips for Winter Tree Safety

Photo Credit: Davey Tree Expert Company
This winter has been challenging in many regions with snow, ice and wind resulting in power outages from fallen tree branches, and sometimes the entire tree. Not all trees can withstand the weight of snow and ice and not many people can withstand the stress of several days of no power.  It's still not too late to inspect the trees on your property to identify weak or potentially dangerous tree conditions.  Follow these tips from the Davey Tree Expert Company to help you spot the trouble before you end up in trouble.

Keep an eye out for these tree conditions during the last months of winter to spot defects:

* Deadwood - dead trees and large dead branches can fall at any time, especially during severe weather

* Cracks - look for deep splits that extend into the wood of the tree through internal or external cavities

* Decay - soft wood or cavities where wood is missing can create hazardous conditions in advanced stages

Photo Credit: Davey Tree Expert Company
* Weak branch unions - two or more branches growing too close together with bark growing between them

* Heavy canopies - excessive thick branches and foliage catches more wind in stormy weather increasing the risk of  breakage and uprooting

* Cankers - branches weaken near bark that is sunken or missing and are prone to breakage

* Root problems - trees without a good root system are more likely to be uprooted or blown over during a storm; often nearby construction may sever large roots or compact the soil and cause poor root growth

* Poor tree architecture - characterized by excessive leaning of the tree or branches growing out of proportion to the tree canopy may indicate weakness or structural imbalance

If you've spotted one or more of these potentially harmful tree conditions, don't panic.  Not all defective trees need to be removed immediately and some can be treated for a healthy future.  Contact an arborist who can evaluate the tree and recommend the proper treatment. Trees can withstand most of what Mother Nature dishes out, even if we struggle with it.  Be safe, and remember that spring is just around the corner.

Garden Media Group