Did your trees survive winter?

After such a long winter with several snowfalls and a few nasty wind storms, it might be a good idea to assess the damage done to the trees on your property. In doing so, it is wise to look at potential targets (dangers?), paying close attention to power lines, out buildings, parking areas, play areas and of course, all immediate areas surrounding your house. It is always a good idea to identify potential hazards as early as possible, before further structural damage to the trees can occur, which may cause damage to people or property.

Broken branches
Some obvious things to look for are dead or broken branches hanging or hung up in the trees’ canopy. These have to be safely removed because they could fall unexpectedly and hurt people or damage surrounding trees or buildings.

Crack in stems
Other observable signs of danger to look for are cracks or splits in the main stem or in the area where two or more stems are joining. These have to be taken care of to minimize potential damage to the tree and surroundings.

Change in the shape
Has one of your trees lost its roundedness or common shape? If so, it might represent an internal problem in the tree, a potentially dangerous situation that needs attending to.

Decay or fungi
Can you see conks or fruiting bodies attached to the bark or outside of your trees? This might be an indication of decay of fungi inside the tree.

An open wound or cavity in your tree may be the starting point of decay. Also, dead branches may contain decay, which can spread into the tree.

Cracks in the soil
Cracks or separations in the soil around the base of the tree might be signs that the roots are not secure and is a warning sign, especially if the tree is leaning.

One should be aware of any changes to the environment around the trees, i.e., new construction, grade changes, trenching (damaging the roots from digging or changing the water course). All these factors could create potential problems for the health and safety of your trees.

Hopefully, this information can help you identify any potential hazards in your trees that might have been brought about by such a variety of winter weather. It is advisable to spend a bit of time each spring to assess the possible damage that has occurred over the past few months so that you and your family can enjoy a safe and worry-0fee environment to live in.