Tree issues linger after unusual weather
Identify hazards before winter conditions result in damage
From serious summer hurricanes to autumn snowstorms, many areas have experienced unusual weather this year – and a lot of tree damage with it. Cleanup of visible debris and major issues after severe weather is only part of the picture. Heavy rain, snow and high winds often result in unseen issues. With predictions of storms, ice and snow to come thanks in part to La Nina, it is best to address these problems before harsh conditions result in further damage. "Many people think that after leaves have fallen, there is no need to care for plants until warmer weather," says Dr. Bruce Fraedrich, a scientist at the research laboratories of tree care provider Bartlett Tree Experts.&"That couldn't be further from the truth.Late autumn and winter is actually the best time to begin preparing trees for a healthy growing season next spring." He advises a winter tree inspection by a certified arborist to check for the following issues:
Broken or cracked branches and branch stubs resulting from earlier breakage require removal. Proper pruning techniques are critical to avoid insect and disease infestations. Additionally, trees and shrubs that have lost a significant portion of their crown may require pruning.
Trees damaged in inclement weather may develop structural weaknesses like splits in stems that predispose them to further damage. In these cases, crown reduction or thinning may be needed. Cables and brace rods can also be installed to reduce the risk of failure.
Smaller trees that lean may require staking or guying. Guys and stakes are usually removed after one growing season, but may need to remain longer in some cases. Larger trees usually cannot and should not be guyed. These trees should be inspected to determine if the root plate may have shifted and if the tree poses a safety hazard.
Insect and Disease Infestations
Wounds created by storms add stress to plants, paving the way for invasion by insects and disease-causing organisms. Trees should be inspected for over-wintering pest populations and disease and treated as needed.
The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company was founded in 1907 by Francis A. Bartlett and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company. The organization’s current chairman, Robert A. Bartlett Jr., represents the third generation of Bartlett family management. Bartlett has locations in 25 U.S. states, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. Services include pruning, pest and disease management, fertilization and soil management, cabling and bracing, tree lightning protection systems and tree/stump removal. Its corporate offices are located in Stamford, Connecticut. To find out more, visit the company’s web site at www.bartlett.com or call 1-877-BARTLETT (227-8538).
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