Winter Tree Care and Storm Preparedness: A Comprehensive Checklist

As the winter season approaches, it’s essential to prioritize the care and protection of your trees. Winter storms in the Raleigh area can pose significant risks, causing damage to both your trees and your property. To ensure the health and longevity of your trees, you should be proactive and prepared. At Blackhawk Tree Services we know how important tree trimming, pruning and tree removal can be for winter tree care and winter storm preparedness. By utilizing these tips, you can safeguard your trees against potential harsh weather conditions and mitigate potential risks. Learn how you can keep your trees healthy and resilient throughout the North Carolina winter season.

Potential Risks to Trees & Property Posed by Winter Storms 

Winter storms can unleash a number of hazards that pose significant risks to both trees and their surrounding property. As the snow falls and the winds blow, it’s important to be aware of these potential dangers and take necessary precautions to minimize their damage. Here are some of the risks of extreme winter season weather :

  • Heavy snow accumulation: The weight of heavy snow can cause branches to snap, leading to tree damage or even complete tree failure.
  • Ice accumulation: When freezing rain coats branches and power lines with ice, it can result in significant damage and power outages.
  • Strong winds: Winter storms often bring strong gusts of wind that can uproot trees, topple branches, and cause structural damage to nearby buildings.
  • Frost cracking: Rapid temperature fluctuations between day and night can cause the bark to crack, leaving trees vulnerable to diseases and pests.
  • Salt damage: Road salt used for de-icing can seep into the soil and affect tree roots, leading to dehydration and nutrient imbalances.

To protect your trees and property from these risks, consider taking the following measures:

  • Prune dead or weak branches before the storm season to reduce the risk of falling limbs. 
  • Clear snow from tree branches using a broom or gentle shaking to lighten the load and prevent breakage.
  • Consult with an arborist to assess and address any structural weaknesses in your trees, such as cabling or bracing for added support.
  • Avoid using salt-based de-icers near trees and opt for alternatives like sand or environmentally-friendly ice melt products.
  • Regularly inspect your trees for signs of stress or damage throughout the winter season and promptly address any issues that arise.

Fall & Winter Tree Preventative Care Checklist

Before the fall and winter season approaches, there are a few things you can do to help your trees prepare for the colder weather moving in. Some basic care that should be considered all year long includes mulching, pest control, adequate watering, appropriate structural support and seasonal fertilization. Tree pruning and tree removal should aslo be considered before any season that may bring extreme weather conditions. 

Tree Pruning: Pruning is an essential part of tree care, as it promotes healthy growth and increases the tree’s overall strength. Regular trimming and maintenance of your trees can greatly enhance their resistance to strong winds and heavy snowfall.  By removing dead or diseased limbs before winter, you can reduce the tree’s vulnerability to winter storms.

Tree Removal: In some cases, it may be necessary to remove a tree entirely, particularly if it’s diseased, dead, or in a precarious location. Removing risky trees before winter can help prevent structural damage to your property during severe weather.

Blackhawk Tree Services team of local ISA-Certified Arborists are dedicated to the care and maintenance of trees in the Raleigh area. With years of experience and a genuine passion for tree maintenance and emergency tree services, there’s no better team in the Triangle area to help you complete your fall and winter tree care checklist this season. 

Tree Recovery from Winter Storm Damage

After a severe winter storm, it’s essential to assess the damage to your trees and take appropriate steps for their recovery. Inspect your trees carefully for broken or hanging branches, split trunks, uprooted roots, or leaning. Look for any signs of stress, such as wilting leaves, discoloration, or fungal growth. These indicators can provide valuable insights into the extent of the damage and help determine the necessary course of action.

When undertaking the cleanup process, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Before starting any work, you need to ensure that the area is secure and free from potential hazards, such as downed power lines or unstable branches. Proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves, eye protection, and sturdy footwear should also be used. Exercise caution when using tools and equipment, and be mindful of your surroundings. If the damage is extensive or poses a significant risk, consider hiring a professional ISA- certified tree service company for assistance.

Seek Professional Tree Services 

While minor storm damage can often be addressed by homeowners, there are situations where professional help is warranted. It’s advisable to seek professional arborist assistance in the following cases:

  • Extensive Damage: If the damage to your trees is extensive, involving large branches, split trunks, or complete uprooting, it’s best to consult with an arborist. They have the expertise, equipment, and experience to handle complex tree removal or restoration safely.
  • Dangerous Situations: If a tree has fallen on a structure, utility line, or poses a threat to people or property, it’s imperative to contact professionals immediately. They will have the necessary training and PPE to handle such emergencies safely.
  • Uncertainty about Tree Health: If you’re unsure about the tree’s overall health, the extent of damage, or the best course of action, consulting an arborist is recommended. They can assess the tree’s condition, provide expert advice, and offer appropriate treatment options.

Professional ISA-Certified Arborists can accurately evaluate tree health, recommend proper pruning techniques, execute safe tree removal if necessary, and provide guidance on long-term tree care to ensure a successful recovery.

Choose Blackhawk Tree Services

With colder weather seasons approaching, it’s important to remember that proper tree care and storm preparedness can make all the difference in safeguarding your property and your trees’ longevity. At Blackhawk Tree Services, we’re your dedicated partners in this journey. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with pruning, trimming, tree removal, and comprehensive tree assessment services. Don’t leave the health and safety of your trees to chance. Contact us today to ensure your trees are well-prepared for the winter season.