Assessing Tree Health In The Winter Is A Good Idea

Waltzing in a winter wonderland, it seems like the trees are in suspended animation. Or hibernating. The ground is icy, the soil is hard as concrete, and the leaves are off of the deciduous ones.

It may not look like the best time to remove sick or dying trees, but it is. Winter is the best season to take care of these problem trees. Why is it smart to opt for the tundra months? We’ll tell you why.

  1. Diseases Cannot Spread As Easily

The insects are sleeping. The bacteria and parasites are dead in the snow. Even the fungi is dormant when it’s this cold. Therefore, some of the dangers that happen when it’s thawed — infections spreading, or infestations hop from root system to root system — are simply not dangers.

Some of the most common infections are Dutch elm disease, oak wilt, and cedar hawthorn rust. None of these are an issue during the winter. Elm bark beetles spread Dutch elm disease, and it’s too cold for them. Oak wilt is a result of fungus, and it is too cold for the fungus to thrive. The diseases that threaten trees have a tougher time in the frozen ground than the trees themselves.

What is Cedar Hawthorn Rust, you ask? It is a disease caused by a fungus, which makes orangey patches on leaves and fruit, on juniper trees and hawthorn trees. This ailment cannot spread in the winter either — at least not in southern Ohio.

  1. It’s Easier to See the Branches

With the leaves off, our tree doctors have a much easier time looking at the structure of growth. It’s like a doctor asking you to remove your clothes before examining you. But, in this case, it’s foliage.

Seeing which branches have died, or which are dangerous — this is all easier to do without those pesky green leaves blocking the view.

  1. Pruning is Easier

By that same token, tree services such as trimming are simpler when the branches are naked. With fruit trees, especially, the pruning is significantly easier without the spring and summer growth getting in the way.

  1. The Spring Does Wonders for a Freshly Trimmed Tree

If the tree turns out to just need a healthy trim, rather than full removal, then it’s best to do it before the thaw. That way, when the spring comes, the new growth will come more quickly and fully, and the tree can fully recover. That new growth is a wonderful period of recuperation and spreading-out for the tree, and the first blush of the spring is the most optimal time for that to happen.

  1. You Can Prevent an Accident

In the winter, your trees’ branches are getting weighted down with snow and ice. If your tree is in its final season, then its branches are not able to hold as much weight. The big deposits of ice can cause huge branches to snap off, endangering animals, power lines, and buildings alike.

Review Your Tree’s Health This Winter

If the tree is not dying, just merely in need of pruning and medicine, then pulling out the diseased or dead branches can prevent damage as well. Either way, the winter season is when a lot of accidents can happen with falling branches and falling trees, and if you think there is cause for concern, it is best to act quickly and decisively.