Winter in Connecticut can be tough on your trees, sometimes even in ways that you don’t expect. Being a tree owner in the winter months can feel like a bit of a vacation from more hands-on spring, fall, and summer tree care, but the reality is that your trees are just as susceptible to tree damage if not more so in the midst of winter storms.
Cutting Edge Tree Care Specialists are experts at identifying and rectifying severe and moderate tree damage. Your job as a tree owner is to understand when you can take measures yourself and when it’s time to ask for help.
Physical damage from wind is a very real possibility during the winter months just as it is in other seasons with turbulent weather. Though you may not have to contend with tornadoes during the snowy seasons, there are still plenty of high-powered storms that pack a hefty punch. Your trees may lose bark, branches, or even sustain significant trunk damage. Even if you aren’t dealing with a full-fledged blizzard, winter winds still have enough push and pull to do some serious damage.
Winter tree damage is possible even without strong winds thanks to extremely low temperatures and ice buildup. Both of these can contribute to damage to the flesh or roots of the tree or lead to excessive dryness and breakages. Though trees do achieve some level of dormancy (depending upon the species), that doesn’t make them entirely invulnerable to severe weather. This type of tree damage can occur rather suddenly as the temperatures drop, and can be intensified by the addition of heavy snow.
While snow may appear soft and fluffy, it’s easy to forget how much sheer water weight it can contain. A light dusting won’t have much of an impact on your tree care needs, but once it starts to pile up, tree damage can occur rather quickly. Brittle branches can bend quickly under increasing weight, and smaller trees can even sway or fall under extreme snow conditions. Spotting these symptoms early is vital for keeping all of your trees upright and healthy.
If your Connecticut trees have been impacted by winter tree damage or you’re in need of expert cold-weather tree care, contact Cutting Edge Tree Care Specialists for more information today. Breaks and cracks aren’t necessarily a death sentence for trees, but getting them the tree care they need can help ensure they survive until spring returns.
Trees really are amazing, and the more you know about them, the more amazing they appear. For starters, their resiliency and their ability to endure the ever-changing environment is impressive. Have you ever thought about how trees survive the winter here in blustery New England? Keep reading to learn more about trees and their amazing ability to tolerate harsh winter conditions.
Dormancy Reduces Trees’ Needs
It’s no secret that most trees lose their leaves in the fall. This natural occurrence leaves trees without a way to produce food. Green leaves convert sunlight into energy through the process of photosynthesis. This energy is the tree’s food, which it uses to grow and function. Obviously, there are no green leaves in the winter, which means no food is being produced. Fortunately, trees handle this quite efficiently. They simply go dormant in the winter. During dormancy, trees do not grow and their metabolism slows down. They only perform essential biologic functions, thus conserving energy. The limited energy needs are met with food that has been stored in cells during sunny summer days. When spring comes and the days lengthen and brighten, leaves again emerge and trees come out of dormancy.
Cellular Changes Keep Trees from Freezing
Lack of food is only part of the problem created by winter weather. Trees also have to endure freezing temperatures. They do not have the ability to move to a warmer climate or to shelter themselves in any way. But they do have the ability to make incredible changes to their own cells that protect them from the cold. One change is that cell membranes become more pliable, which allows water to move more freely out of the cell. Secondly, the cells convert stored starch into sugar, which is used to sweeten the fluid within the cell. This sweetened liquid has a lower freezing point so the water inside remains unfrozen while the water outside of the cell freezes. Finally, the cell liquid itself actually transforms into an almost solid state which keeps the cell from crystalizing.
Trees are remarkable in their ability to deal with winter weather. At Cutting Edge Tree Care Specialists’ we think that this is only one of the ways that trees are amazing. Our business is dedicated to providing the best preventative tree care as well as responding quickly and efficiently to tree problems and emergencies. Call us for a free estimate and our expert arborist will help you protect these miraculous plants.
During October and November what are some things to do to care for the trees on your property, so they’ll be ready for the winter ahead?
Typically, trees seem to hibernate during the winter months, but keep in mind that harsh weather conditions can put a lot of stress on them. What are some things you can do to lessen that stress?
COLD WEATHER PREPARATION
To prepare trees for colder weather, it’s a smart idea to use mulch around them. By spreading organic mulch under and around trees in the autumn months, you’ll help them reduce temperature extremes in the soil (mulch acts a bit like a blanket) as well as help them retain water.
QUENCH THE THIRST
Speaking of water, droughts can and do happen in the winter. If the temperature is above freezing, it’s a smart idea to use your garden hose and water your trees a couple times during the autumn months. This is especially helpful if it hasn’t rained for weeks where you live. Trees, like humans, get thirsty!
PLANTING FOR THE FUTURE
If you’re thinking about planting new trees, October and November are good times to do so. Cooler weather sets in, which helps stimulate root growth in new trees.
PRUNE THE OLDER ONES
As for older trees on your property, it’s a good idea to prune them before the snow comes. Ideally, right after the trees drop their leaves, you can see what needs pruning. Get rid of dead branches. Pruning is like giving a tree a “haircut.” It’s good for the tree if done properly. If you don’t have the tools or knowledge to prune your tree(s), it’s best to call a professional like Cutting Edge Tree Care Specialists.
PREVENT TREE INJURIES
Finally, you can help prevent injuries to your trees by wrapping their bases with a plastic or metal guard/cloth. People often use burlap to do this… basically, wrapping a tree helps protect it from temperature damage, plow damage, and animal rubbing damage. The wrapping can be removed in late Spring.
Cutting Edge Tree Care Specialists can help you prepare the trees on your property for the coming winter. We do all sorts of services, including tree trimming, tree removal and emergency service after a storm hits.
Oak is one of the most common tree species in the northern hemisphere. Often seen as a symbol of strength and wisdom, oaks are well-known for their longevity and adaptability. However, even these venerable giants are not immune to the stresses of time and temperature. Recent years have brought extreme shifts in soil moisture conditions, a proliferation of root diseases, and wood-boring insect infestations to the oak populations in many geographic regions. The result of these combined stress factors has been an observable increase in the decline of oak species.
A species decline like this occurs when widespread conditions (like drought or excess soil moisture) stress a population of trees, leaving those trees weak and susceptible to damaging insects and disease. Since declines typically result from a set of complex factors interacting over time, early signs of an issue often go unnoticed. Unfortunately, once decline has progressed, it is particularly difficult to reverse, especially for mature trees.
Oak trees under stress are a target for a number of insect and disease problems. Phytophthora root rot and Armillaria root rot disease are commonly seen on trees where waterlogged conditions occur. Armillaria can also be found after periods of drought. Regional problems may also contribute to the death of oak trees with well-established diseases existing in nearly all geographies.
Further, when oaks become stressed, they release chemical compounds that attract wood-boring insects. Tunneling and feeding activity under the bark results in fatal, internal damage. Common to oak are the black stem borer, ambrosia beetle, two-lined chestnut borer, and red oak borer. Though defoliating insects such as gypsy moth or winter moth are not as devastating as borers, these insects can also pose serious health issues for trees already in decline.
Encouraging overall plant health is the best way to prevent a tree from succumbing to decline. For landscape trees, the first step is soil testing and analysis to identify plant needs. Fertilization and soil amendments based on this testing should be combined with cultural practices including mulching and proper irrigation to aid in recovery and reduce the likelihood of decline. In areas where flooding or drought have occurred, preventative insect and disease treatments are also important to help fend off serious infestations.
Damage to your trees and shrubs may be happening under your nose from common causes like insects, diseases, and mites. In most cases, these issues can be widespread before noticing them. It might be hard to tell if insects or diseases are casing a wide variety of issues to your trees, but some common signs are visible that can help you identify a problem.
Common Signs of Tree Damages
Although there are multiple common issues, and homeowners are not expected to diagnose the issues with precision, we are going to help you know how to identify problems before the damage becomes extensive. Let us now look at three signs that you need to be familiar with to know if insects or diseases have infested your trees. Signs of Connecticut Invasive Tree Insects & Diseases can lead to a bigger problem if not handled correctly. To be sure you don’t end up with a bigger issue on your hands, let our professional arborists ensure your project goes smoothly.
Chewed Foliage on Shrubs and Trees
If you see that the leaves of your trees or shrubs are eaten and there is a presence of small irregular holes, you could have an insect problem. The cause might be a beetle, an insect larva, or a weevil problem.
Different insects have different chewing patterns. For instance, beetles tend to eat on the mid-section of the foliage, leaving the leaf with only the veins. An expert can identify the right cause of the damage and provide the proper treatment.
Stripped Dull Foliage
An infestation of mites can cause the foliage to turn yellow and dry. Mites tend to cause the foliage to curl and become dull after sucking the juice from the plants. Scale insects and lace bugs also have the same impact. Once you work with an expert, it is easy to determine the type of insect that is causing the problem.
Cottony White Masses
If you see cottony white masses on your trees, you may be infected with woolly aphids, adelgid or scale. If you are not a professional, it is easy to mistake it for fuzzy mold while in fact, it is a sucking insect that loves sucking on plant fluids. You can also find that other insects like egg sacks can appear as white cottony.
White Spots on Shrubs & Trees
If you see lots of white spots on tree branches, twigs, or leaves, scale insects may be infesting your plants as they suck on plant fluids. The white spots are often thousands of white bugs that can easily be mistaken for mold. Scale insects can be larger bumps like the size of a ladybug. They are flat and tiny.
If you plan to hire the services of professional tree service experts, contact Cutting Edge Specialist today. We will help you get rid of the pests and insects harming your trees.