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A quick tree checkup this winter could preserve good health for your trees all year long. But what exactly should you look for?

How to Spruce Up Your Trees in 3 Easy Steps

February 10, 2015

You may often find yourself hustling and bustling from one place to the next without much free time. Sound like you? Well, if you intend to help your landscape prosper this year, know that it will only take you 10 minutes to save your trees this winter.

But why check trees now, in winter?

"By the time you notice a tree is sick or in danger, it's usually too late and broken limbs or rotten trunks will have you wishing you had checked your trees earlier," says R.J. Laverne, a certified arborist with The Davey Tree Expert Company. 

Spring will be here before we know it, so it’s time to prepare your trees for the remaining weeks of winter ahead and look forward to a happy, healthy change in season.

Winter Tree Care Steps: Laverne recommends following these guidelines to save your trees.  

STEP ONE: INSPECT TREES. Check your trees from the roots up for the following signs:

  • Hollow trunks
  • Small holes in the trunk
  • Decay, such as cankers, cracks, soft or crumbling bark, and fungal activity
  • Shallow pits in the bark
  • Dead twigs and branches

STEP TWO: LOOK FOR SPECIFIC TREE PROBLEMS. Inclement weather isn't the only event threatening the health of your trees. Diseases and bug infestations can wipe out entire lots and species of trees. Look out for pests and follow these steps.

  • WATCH OUT—for the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species attacking thousands of ash trees across the U.S.
  • LOOK FOR—D-shaped holes or shallow S-shaped trails under the bark are telltale signs that EAB has made your tree its home.
  • INVESTGATE—If signs of an invasive infestation are present, take note and notify a professionally trained arborist immediately.

STEP THREE: SCHEDULE A TREE CHECK-UP. Notice something that worries you? When in doubt, schedule a free consultation. Hire a professionally trained arborist to provide the best care for your trees. Arborists will acknowledge current hazards, explain potential concerns and may find something you missed.

Remember, it won’t take all day… monitoring trees can be done quickly and will save money in the long run. In most cases, treating trees is far less expensive than removing and replacing them. When it comes to trees, being proactive is key.

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