Your Backyard Tree Checklist for The Winter Storm Season


Backyard trees can get quite difficult to handle during the storm season. Loose and weakened branches, poor root structure, loosely packed soil all poses a danger to your entire household. Being a working professional, it’s difficult to manage everything by yourself. Even if you had the free time, tending to an entire backyard is not an easy task. You can simplify the job by hiring somebody who specializes in it by searching for “tree service near me”, to tend to your backyard on a budget. Let’s see what some of their responsibilities include:

The Checklist

  1. Deadwood– Dead tree branches risk falling and damaging your precious home at any time during the winter. The differences between live and dead ones are not always similar, and an expert can always tell them apart. Leafless branches are pretty obvious and are a dead giveaway.

One other way to spot them is to look for branches that don’t shed leaves. Dead branches hang onto several weeks into the winter. In rare cases, the leaf blade will be ripped off by the wind, but the stock remains intact. They are not usually a good sign and tree service experts are aware of that fact.

Another way to spot a dead tree is by the bark. Healthy trees shed old bark and a new layer soon replaces the old tenant. However, in the case of a dead tree, you can spot a smooth layer of wood. No new layer means the tree is dead.

These are all warning signs that indicate the tree needs to be dealt with and tree service experts in the matter.

  1. Frost cracks– Frost cracks are vertical cracks that form on tree barks in the winter. These are caused by a tree’s inability to deal with the weather change. The cracks are caused by the expansion and contraction of the tree barks which is a result of water expansion inside the tree.

The cracks usually appear on the south and west side of the tree bark as these are the sides that receive the most amount of sunlight before the cold kicks in at night. They make a loud noise when the tree has finally reached its limit and cracks open.

Healthy trees are often able to heal themselves by growing new wood within, however, in most cases, the cracks remain in the open and may even widen with the passage. If neglected, the cracks can weaken a tree’s strength, causing it to tip to one side before finally falling over. This can be disastrous to your household, so, seek tree services as soon as you spot frost cracks in your backyard fauna.

  1. Tree decay– Tree decays are the hardest to locate and it happens when the internal vascular system is attacked and destroyed by deadly pathogens. The diseased tree buckles under its weight, before finally giving away to gravity.

Tree decay can often be spotted by incessant growth of fungal bodies, loosened barks, cracked trunks, the sunken area beneath the bark, dead leaves and twigs, leaning trunks, bark wounds, and sawdust. Tree decay is complicated and is hard to diagnose. Experts use tools to hand test for decay, look for visible decay marks, or use a resistograph to investigate for internal decay.

Differentiating a healthy tree from a decaying and sick tree is not easy. Unless you’re an expert it’s hard to tell whether you can treat a tree, or if it’s too far gone and needs to be removed instead. Whether a tree can be restored is identified by the source and extent of the decay. It also depends on if the rot can be stopped or not, something which you cannot tell unless you specialize in the field.

Moreover, trees are removed based on the magnitude of the hazard and the potential damages it will cause should it fall. So, if you suspect any funny business in your trees, call tree services right away.

  1. Heavy canopies– Heavy canopies may seem nice, but they pose a danger during winter storms. Furthermore, horizontal growth increases the risk of failure, especially in the case of weak species such as pear and ash. While some people argue that oak trees can hold their own during winter storms, it’s better to avoid the risk altogether and get it checked anyway.

This is because, during winter storms, snow aggressively accumulates on the canopy, overexerting its past limits. This not only increases the risk of breakage and uprooting but there is also the risk of property damage that can cost you thousands of dollars.

Therefore, it’s best to look for tree services and get your tree assessed by them. They can advise on a safe enough canopy size that negates the risk of breakage and uprooting so that you can spend a safe and beautiful winter with your family.

  1. Weak branch unions– As a tree grows the branches intertwine forming a complex network, which often leads to a structural imbalance. A strong branch union is represented by a broad branch angle, which is a ‘U’ shaped union that has a strip of raised bark between the main stem and the branch. A weak structure is created when a branch and a stem grow close together.

As they grow, the union between them gets even weaker, making the branches more prone to breakage. A tree that leans over 40 degrees or more is concerning and should be removed before the storm hits.

One way you can avoid this situation is by corrective pruning, which can be difficult if you don’t know where to cut. In such cases calling in for help is an option.

These are a few of the many ways your backyard tree can potentially damage your house during the winter storm. Other factors include broken tree limbs, root problems, poor tree architecture, and much more.


Managing everything by yourself can be quite difficult especially if you don’t know what you should be looking for. It’s better to let the experts handle it and you can find some quickly by searching for “tree service near me”.

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