Winter is officially here and all across the Spokane region, people are battening down the hatches to ensure that their residential and commercial properties are ready for the storms that we all know are coming.

Don’t let the unseasonably warm weather lull you into a false sense of security! Just remember a couple of years ago, when unprecedented late-season snow storms accompanied by high winds caused damage to thousands of trees across the state. Impeccable Landscapes was ready to help provide tall tree service to all those that needed it, and we’re prepared to do the same again this year.

Keep reading to learn why winter is a particularly hard season for tall trees as well as how to assess damage after a storm to determine if you need professional service. Remember, we’re available to provide emergency tree and shrub care all year long!

Which Trees Are Most At Risk From Winter Damage?

Snap! Crash!

The last thing any Spokane homeowner wants to hear in the middle of a snow or ice storm is the sound of tree limbs being dragged to the ground by the elements. Certain tree species tend to be more resilient to winter storms than others, which is something to keep in mind when you’re revamping your landscaping in the spring and summer.

The following trees are classified as “fast-growing softwoods” which means that it’s very easy for them to become weakened over time. Between pest infestations, decay, and the weight of snow and ice, these are the tall trees most likely to break during the winter:

  • Maple Trees
  • Ash Trees
  • Siberian Elms
  • American Elms
  • Cottonwoods
  • European Birches
  • Bradford Pears

If you’d like to avoid winter damage to your tall trees, it’s important to choose resilient species as well as a good site for planting. “Deciduous tree species with strong wood and well-attached branches, like most oaks, hickories and ginkgos, are generally more resistant to damage in ice storms,” said Sven Svenson, professor of horticulture at Oregon State University. “Generally, conifers are more resistant to damage than deciduous trees species, with spruces and firs typically showing less damage than pines,” he continued.

Of course, you can’t change the trees that are already planted on your property, so what do you do in the aftermath of a severe Spokane snow or ice storm?

How To Care For Your Tall Trees After A Winter Storm

Once the snow begins to fall and the wind (or freezing rain) begins to blow, there’s very little you can do to protect your trees. However, once the skies clear and you can once again venture outside, it’s a good idea to immediately take a look at your tall trees to determine if they’ve suffered any damage. Follow this handy checklist for timely maintenance:

side-inner-imageAssessing The Injuries

Whenever inspecting tall trees on your property after a storm, exercise extreme caution. Any downed wires or other hazardous materials tangled up in your tree limbs should only be approached by a professional.

  • Ask you’re conducting your visual inspection, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is there visible damage that wasn’t there before the storm?
  • Other than the new damage, does the tree look healthy?
  • Are the broken limbs major parts of the tree or merely peripheral/young branches?
  • Is there damage to or loss of the leader branch (the main upward trending branch)?
  • Is at least 50 percent of the tree’s crown still undamaged?
  • How big/severe are the tree’s wounds?
  • Might it be possible for the tree’s remaining branches to eventually replace those that have been damaged?

Deciding Between Tree Trimming & Tree Removal

Your answers to these questions during a post-storm inspection will help you decide whether it’s necessary to call a professional for tree trimming or tree removal service. If you’re not sure of how to answer these questions or the answers are different for each of your damaged trees, it’s necessary to call a certified arborist to help you decide how to proceed. There are some instances in which a damaged tree can be saved with some quick tree trimming and maintenance services. However, there are other cases in which a tall tree is too damaged to be saved, in which case the tree must be repaired quickly to prevent damage to your property.

Don’t Attempt Tall Tree Service On Your Own!

Tree cutting services require a lot of skill and the right tools, so never attempt to do anything but inspect the trees on your own. Contact Impeccable Landscapes for a FREE QUOTE and fast tall tree service today.