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How to Protect Your Trees and Shrubs from Ice

Most trees and shrubs usually have gone dormant by the time winter arrives, yet that doesn’t mean you can just forget about them til spring. Winter can be one of the most arduous times of the year for your plants — with stressors such as:

  • Winter sun

  • Snow accumulation

  • Freezing temperatures

  • Wind

  • And ice

In today’s blog, we will be focusing specifically on how to keep your trees and shrubs protected from the last stressor in that list: ice. In this guide, we will cover a number of strategies for reducing ice damage to your trees. However, at the end of the day, sometimes it’s better to simply rely on the experts. Getting professional tree care is the most surefire way to ensure that your tree stays healthy year-round, and any damage they sustain during the winter is taken care of appropriately and adequately. If you would like to partner with a landscaping and design company that truly knows how to keep trees healthy and thriving, delivering superior results every time, consider hiring Wise Oak, Inc. in Southern Vermont to care for your trees throughout summer, fall, winter, and spring! Reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation!


DIY Approaches to Protecting Your Trees & Shrubs from Ice Damage

With the cold months coming swiftly upon us, your trees and shrubs become increasingly at risk for heavy ice formations, which can spell serious long-term consequences for them. When it is raining on a cold winter’s day, you may see your tree branches turn into icicles in a matter of hours. The more ice builds up, the more danger to the plant it poses.

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How Does Ice Damage Trees?

Ice can damage trees and shrubs in a number of ways, but the main concern is how ice increases your risk of having branches snap off. Frozen branches have a new heavy weight on them, and, as the pressure increases, it can lead to snapping. What can be done to prevent ice damage then?

#1: Proper Pruning

Tree and shrub preparation before winter involves the pruning of weak-jointed branches on vulnerable shrubs and trees as an effective way of preventing ice and snow damage. Careful pruning is a far superior alternative to a sudden break. For Fall tree pruning services in Southern Vermont, get in touch with Wise Oak!

#2: Avoid Shaking Branches

You may feel the desire to go outside and shake your trees free of ice and snow, but doing so could damage your tree’s limbs. While the snow may be light and fluffy, the ice can be brittle and break when you shake it. If ice or snow has damaged a limb, properly pruning it at this point is a good idea. However, don’t prune any limbs that aren’t broken, as they are likely to return to normal as soon as the snow and ice melts or spring arrives.

#3: Brush Snow Off Gently

Instead of shaking branches to knock snow off, brush them gently to prevent damage to your trees and shrubs. A soft broom is a great tool for this. Simply lift branches upward with the brook and brush the snow off, starting near the top of the tree and working your way down. If the snow is frozen on the branches, leave the tree be for now and wait till temperatures come back above freezing.

#4: Be Aware of Potential Salt Damage

Salt can help keep your sidewalks and driveway safe to walk and drive on, and it is a service Wise Oak offers as part of our winter service package, but if you are doing it on your own, be sure to not overdo it. Salt can leach into your soil, which can cause long-lasting problems to your grass, trees, and other plants. Avoid sodium chloride; choose more environmentally friendly snow melting agents such as magnesium chloride or calcium chloride.

#5: Shovel and Snow Blow with Care

When you show or blow snow, you create piles of snow and ice that are denser than natural snowfall, with a tendency to stick together. As it settles, it can cause damage to your trees and shrubs. That’s why, when you are removing snow from your driveway, porch, and walkways, always direct snow away from landscape plants as much as possible.

Wise Oaks is Southern Vermont’s Go-To Source for Year-Round Landscape Healthcare

Wise Oak, Inc. has served our Southern Vermont neighbors since 2005, and in that time we have saved countless trees from serious ice damage and other factors. We use the latest technologies and practices to ensure your trees are treated with the greatest care and the most appropriate practices for each particular situation and season. Call Wise Oaks today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to speaking with you!