Calgary Arborist – News & Resources

Wind and Snow Damage to Trees in Calgary

We have seen some fairly serious damage to tree due to the weather we have gotten this past week. The wind on Monday caused some breakage as well as the wet, heavy snow we got shortly after.

Spruce - damaged by wind

The Spruce above had co-dominant stems which we touched on in a previous post. The heavy winds caused it to split away, and yes there is a garage under that tree stem! This can be avoided by ensuring your tree has a single dominant leader. This can be achieved through pruning by shortening the competing leaders and as with all pruning it is most effective when done while trees are young.

Snow Damage

After the wind on Monday we saw some damage due to the heavy wet snow that came later in the week. It did most damage to evergreens. This simply due to the fact that the deciduous trees are still without leaves which reduces the surface area available to catch the weight of the snow. When we get heavy snow in May – this is when we see deciduous tree damage (like in may of 2007).

There is a huge Mugo Pine under that snow!


Pine limbs broken by snow weight


Broken pine limbs - close up


Rocky Mountain Juniper - bent by snow

The Mugo Pine in the first picture was fine, I went back a day later after the snow had begun to melt and it was upright and as happy as I had ever seen it. Unfortunately the Pine in the 2nd and 3rd pictures suffered enough limb breakage that it will likely need to be removed. At least that will be our Company’s recommendation to the owners. The Juniper in the last picture may not survive either. We have guyed it back into place using some special material that we purchased form a tree material supplier in the US. It is made of a special fabric, that when combined with the Arbor Knot reduces the chance of girdling the stem

Guy system Setup


Juniper - after guying

We guyed the Juniper to bring it upright again, it was browning at the tips already so we have some concern that enough roots ripped when the shrub bent over that it may not survive long term. We will re-assess it in few weeks when the damage will will have become more apparent.


If you have any questions about your trees or shrubs, are concerned about any damaged caused by the recent weather or want to protect your yard against this type of damage – Get a Free Quote! or Contact us anytime!

2 comments… add one
  • Carol Van Velzer

    August 1, 2011, 9:24 am

    Hey that Juniper is looking pretty good from the front but there are a lot of dead bits in the back which is where the roots would have ripped the most.

    • MattD

      August 21, 2011, 9:39 am

      That’s great to hear! I hope you don’t mind us using your Juniper as an example. We may have to move the staking material higher on the stem to ensure it does not damage the trunk.


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