Almost three weeks have passed since a rare early snow storm swept through southern Alberta. Large amounts of wet, heavy snow fell and accumulated quickly on our trees full of foliage causing branches to bend, sag and snap under the weight. Trees that had been regularly pruned properly were less likely to suffer some of the major damage seen, however the damage to trees was widespread. During snowfalls like this it is important to try and knock the snow off the branches to prevent this from occurring. This is however not always possible as we recently witnessed. In the aftermath of the storm many questions are raised on how to care for our urban forest.
Different types of damage to trees can cause many different issues and affect decisions on how to proceed with restoration and preservation work. Whether a branch has completely broken off or is just cracked and hanging, it is important to ensure that proper pruning cuts are made to reduce the chance of causing further damage to trees
You may be wondering if your tree is cracked near major branch union if it can be repaired or bolted back together. Firstly, if your tree did split in the storm it may be too late to bolt. Bolting is best done when the wound is fairly fresh. Once the wood has started to dry out it is less likely bolting will be as successful. Secondly, the species of tree you have makes a difference, hard wood trees such as maple and ash make better candidates for bolting than soft wood trees such as willow or poplar.
Many people often wonder if they should be covering up large cuts and tears with a protective tree paint. Not only does the protective paint seal in moisture increasing the likelihood of decay, it also reduces the ability to see if the wound is healing properly. It is best to let the tree callus and heal naturally.
Even if it appears your trees have not suffered any major damage it is important to take a close look at your trees. If you are concerned, you should contact an ISA Certified Arborist. Please remember how wide spread the damage is and that crews have been working long hard hours trying to not only clean up the mess but ensure trees are safe and taken care of, so you will likely be looking at longer than normal wait times for assessments and work.
09/27/2014 – Heather Christensen – Tree Lover