What Are the Biggest Winter Tree Dangers?

Winter is an unforgiving season, especially when you’re a tree. Humans can hide inside in thick sweaters, sipping hot chocolate by the fire. Trees, on the other hand, have to stand up to ice, snow, wind, hail and freezing temperatures. Watching out for winter tree damage is the best way to ensure your trees will survive the dangers of the season and be able to thrive when spring returns.

Watch out for these winter tree dangers

Keep an eye on your trees for signs of these dangers. If you see them, consider calling your local tree service for assistance:

  • Damage from cold temperatures: Weather changes can harm your tree, especially when it’s warm in the daylight and freezing at night. Your tree can’t exactly come in from the cold like we can. Unfortunately, the icy Colorado weather can cause your tree’s bark to peel or crack. If your tree experienced late autumn growth, it’s especially susceptible to inner and outer bark damage during the winter. Your tree care professional can help you prepare your trees for the winter, and take action if they suffer cold damage.
  • Seasonal drought: You might think that with rain, ice, snow and hail, your trees are getting plenty of water. The reverse is actually true. Trees lose water in the winter, faster than they can absorb it from soil and snow runoff. This causes branch loss, wildlife infestation, cracked bark and even death. You might see late growth in spring, sun damage in the summer and premature leaf loss in fall. Call your local tree service for help ensuring your trees soak up enough water.
  • Frost heaving: It’s pretty difficult to prevent frost heaving. However, since Colorado is icy and snowy, it’s important to know the signs. Frost heaving occurs when the water in the soil freezes. This can dislodge tree roots and “heave” the tree upwards. The tree may fall over, thanks to weakened or damaged roots. You’ve probably seen this phenomenon affecting sidewalks and roadways, too. Keep an eye out for the signs of frost heaving, and call a tree care pro for assistance.
  • Broken branches: Broken branches are a sign of winter tree damage. However, they can be left until spring (unless they present an immediate winter tree danger). When you prune them back in the early spring months, your tree will grow back more lush and beautiful than ever.
  • Rodent damage: If you see signs that rodents are eating away at your tree, you’ll know to wrap the trunk next year. Rodents can strip away your tree’s bark, leaving it susceptible to further winter tree damage, disease and death.

Taking care of your trees during the winter isn’t a difficult task, but it can be time-consuming, particularly if you don’t really know what you’re doing. Let your tree care professionals take care of your trees for you. Whether you need help prepping for the season, pruning, helping new trees survive the winter or addressing other concerns, we can help. Call the team at Rocky Mountain Tree Service today.