Trees can provide interest in the stark winter landscape, but they can also pose a hazard. Knowing the most likely tree-caused winter damage, along with prevention tactics, can ensure you have no winter tree problems.
Those dead branches up in your tree's crown aren't just an eyesore, they are also a hazard. Wind, snow loads, and ice buildup increase the chances of them breaking off. A plummeting branch can cause property damage, such as punching a hole through your roof. These branches also pose a major safety hazard, as they can cause injury or death to anyone standing below when they give out. Prompt removal of all dead wood is the most prudent option.
2. Roof Damages
Falling branches aren't the only concern when it comes to trees and your roof. Debris from overgrown trees can collect on the roof or clog the gutters. This creates dams when combined with ice and snow. Ice dams are one of the major causes of winter roof leaks and damage. Cleaning the roof and gutters helps reduce ice dams, but the best cure is to have the trees trimmed back so they don't overhang the roof.
3. Blow Downs
When winter gales are mixed with wet soil conditions and brittle frozen wood, it increases the chance that a tree will blow down. Blowdowns can be just an inconvenience, or they can cause property damage and injury if they land on a house or parked car. Your tree service can assess the health of your trees. Those that pose a risk of blowing down should be removed or anchored in place.
4. Landscape Churning
A tree with a shallow root system will move in the ground when the wind blows. This can lead to churned-up lawns when you combine tree movement with saturated soil that has been loosened further by freeze-and-thaw cycles. Trees that cause churning are also more likely to fall. Bring in a tree company to stake the tree in order to minimize movement. They may also prune and recommend cultural changes to encourage deeper root growth.
5. Power Outages
Trees overgrown into power lines are a major concern. Winter storms whipping around tree branches can lead to line breakages. Not only will that leave you in the dark during the coldest season, but there are also fire and electrocution concerns. Your tree service can trim back the branches so they won't come in contact with any overhead lines. This type of pruning can be completed in any season, although late winter is the normal time for major trims.
Contact a tree service if you are concerned about the trees overwintering on your property.