With winter comes ice and winter storms. Unfortunately, these winter storms can wreak havoc on your yard, weakening your trees and damaging your property. There are steps you can take to secure your trees in the winter months to help mitigate the damage caused by old man winter.
Here are things you can do in the yard or landscape to prevent ice damage:
- Plant only strong trees in your landscape. Certain trees are popular year in and year out for a reason – they show well and live well. Fast-growing trees are often more brittle and develop weak, V-shaped crotches that easily split apart under the added weight of ice. Because these trees usually take some damage from storms throughout the year, internal rot, decay and lead to weakened trunks and limbs.
- Brittle species should not be planted on sites where heavy ice and snow is a problem. Brittle species include elm, willow, box-elder, hackberry, true poplar and silver maple.
- Be wary of trees that keep their leaves later in fall in areas that are prone to early ice storms. Icy leaves put stress on limbs and branches causing potential damage.
- Wrap small multi-leader trees. If ice is predicted, secure the tree with strips of carpet or cloth two-thirds of the way up. Remove wrapping in the spring to give your plants room to grow.
- Start pruning when your trees are young. Prune dead or weakened limbs and excessive branches from trunk and crowns. This reduces ice weight that can damage your trees.
- Hire a professional arborist for particularly valuable, susceptible or large trees. An arborist can strengthen a tree by installing cabling or bracing on weak limbs. The tree experts at Aronica Plant Health Care can help you develop a winter action plan to protect your trees.