Winter ice, wind, and snow can wreak havoc on your landscape. When your evergreen trees and shrubs have seen the worst of a bad winter, you may need your help to save them.
Assessing the Damage
The first step in repairing winter damage to evergreens is to take an inventory of what the damage is to each plant. For large trees, you will need to seek professional help to remove broken limbs. Large limbs can weigh nearly a ton, and they need to be handled so as not to injure people or property. You may be able to repair damage to smaller trees and shrubs yourself if you know the proper procedures.
Removing Broken Branches Properly
Branches don't snap off neatly, so it takes a little finesse to remove what's left without damaging the tree further. Improper removal can open up the plant to disease and insect damage. The three cut method is the safest way to remove the branch and preserve the branch collar.
Repairing Stripped Bark
Large branches and limbs often tear or strip bark from the trunk when they fall. To repair the bark and prevent insects from hiding inside the tears, use a sharp knife or chisel to remove the bark back to the point where it is attached to the tree, making every effort not to expose more of the inner bark. Narrow wounds heal much faster than wide ones, so try to keep it as narrow as possible.
Protecting the Wounds
Wound dressings have been proven not to provide any additional protection over letting nature take its course in wound healing. In fact, some wound dressing products may actually damage the tree more. If the wound is repaired properly, it should heal well without any help.
Hiring a Professional
In the spring, tree removal and repair crews show up in abundance asking to help with your trees, but it's best not to hire them. Choose a professional who has an established local business, is fully insured, and preferably has professional arborists on staff. Get more than one estimate and ask for references. Make sure you have a complete understanding of the scope of the work and who is responsible for clean-up and debris removal.
Repairing small damage to your trees and shrubs can easily be done by yourself, but when larger trees are damaged, you need to call a trusted local professional, such as those at Hedahl Landscape Deck & Patio. Your landscaping is a large part of your property's value, so only trust the best to repair the havoc that winter weather can wreak.