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As winter draws to a close and spring begins, you should take a moment to check your trees for signs of winter damage. Doing so requires learning the signs of winter storm damage, how to prevent further damage, and how to help your plants recover. If you discover a dead or dying tree, employ the dead tree removal services of Timber Works Tree Care.

We offer residents of Winchester, VA, skillful and safe tree care options. Specifically, our team of tree specialists provides everything from tree trimming to forestry mulching. For tree care done right, turn to Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia’s top-rated tree service company. Call us today at (540) 692-9606 for more information.

Below, we discuss signs, best steps, and recovery details of winter storm–damaged trees:

Signs of Winter Damage

A common symptom of winter damage, leaf desiccation–or winter burn–occurs in broadleaf evergreens. These shallow-rooted plants often struggle to draw moisture from frozen soil. When winter winds dry out a tree’s outer tissue, it cannot replenish that tissue with water and nutrients, leading to leaf desiccation. You can identify this issue when leaves on the windward side of plants turn brown. It becomes more noticeable when snow-covered portions of plants remain green, as they were sheltered from the wind.

Cold temperature damage has similar symptoms to leaf desiccation, yet it comes from sheer cold rather than dry winds. You may see its effects whenever temperatures drop below the normal range for your climate. If you spot damage but see no differences between the windward and non-windward sides of your tree, cold temperature damage could be the culprit.

Nevertheless, tree damage often comes from an animal’s foraging rather than winter weather. Rodents, deer, and other wildlife struggle to find food during winter, so they tend to chew on small trees, shrubs, and perennials. Common signs of animal damage include girdling of trunks, stems, and branches or missing roots.

Preventing Further Damage

Although the best methods to protect your trees from damage require steps before the winter, you can blanket your broadleaf evergreens with burlap if cold temperatures continue for long periods. Doing so helps prevent further leaf desiccation and cold temperature damage.

Preventing animal damage requires more work. To keep out the smallest rodents—such as voles or meadow mice—place chicken wire, hardware screening, or hardware cloth around the base of your plants. Wrap it with more than one protective layer, imbed or stake it into the soil, and make sure it does not rub against the plant. 

For young trees, push back any mulch piled on the trunk to prevent small animals from digging under and gnawing at them. Use corrugated paper wrap, rigid plastic mesh guards, or vinyl tree protection to deter unwanted visitors.

Helping with Recovery

dead Tree Removal in Winchester VA
Exposure to harsh winter conditions could delay seasonal leaf development, so defer early pruning until spring is well underway to avoid cutting off any live branches. Although you may still see buds and branches die off, proper fertilization and watering should help most of the plants recover.

To prepare your trees for a healthy new year, remove winter animal protection wire or wraps in March. Doing so allows for plant growth, especially among perennials, that can be evaluated before doing any spring pruning.

Timber Works Tree Care: Professional Dead Tree Removal in Winchester, VA

Look to Timber Works Tree Care for expert dead tree removal in Winchester, VA. All of our tree removal jobs are executed by a seasoned crew and led by a qualified foreman. That said, we are fully capable of safely removing any weak, breaking, or rotting tree. Get a free estimate today and call (540) 692-9606!

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