As author John Steinbeck once said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Some of us know all about the extremes of winter: the bitter cold temperatures, arctic-like winds and, of course, blankets of snow and ice.

It’s true, residents of some regions often encounter wicked winter conditions before enjoying the sunny summer days that now seem a lifetime away. But after experiencing heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures—for months on end—can our trees feel that same sweetness of summer? Or, do they still suffer?

Branch breakage is just one sign your trees may be suffering from the winter season. So, how can you help? First, know what causes branch breakage and how to prevent it with these tips:

What Causes Branch Breakage:

  • Heavy limbs. Snow or ice storms can add extra weight to limbs and branches. Your trees may not be prepared to bear that extra weight, and may suffer from breakage, wounds, and ragged tears as a result.

  • Wicked winds. If one side of a tree is subjected to the heavy, extreme winds that accompany winter storms, it is susceptible to branch breakage. If a branch is broken or hanging as a result of wind, it can be a liability to you and a risk to your home and neighborhood.

How To Prevent Breakage:

  • Cable or brace. Be proactive while the weather is still nice and prepare your trees prior to the next winter storm. Limbs and branches can loosely be cabled or braced together to help protect against breakage.

  • Let nature do the work. Branch breakage can occur due to the improper removal of ice and snow. If you have just received fresh snow, gently remove it from branches before it freezes and causes extra weight. If your trees are encased with ice, allow the ice to melt naturally.

  • Precautionary pruning. Since trees go dormant during winter, the season serves as a great time to prune with little injury. Pruning can help eliminate weak or broken branches, which will only cause more breakage as winter storms and extreme temperatures come into play.

Suspect your trees may be suffering from branch breakage? We can help! Contact your local, professionally trained Davey arborist for a free consultation.

Related Blog Posts

Snow Mold
Lawn Care & Maintenance

What Is This Whitish Gray (Or Whitish Pink) Fuzz On My Grass?

What is snow mold? It's a fungal disease that can create patches of whitish gray or whitish pink grass blades in late winter and early spring. Let's talk about how to prevent snow mold and how to get rid of snow mold in your home lawn.
Read More
Bracing (1)
Tree Safety, Storm Prep & Recovery

How To Support Tree Limbs

Protect your tree and property from any future damage with tree support systems. Understanding the type of tree support system your tree needs should be assessed by a certified arborist for the best outcome.
Read More

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!