Preparing Trees for Winter


A lot of home owners were caught off-guard by the recent, relatively early ice storm that impacted much of Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas.  El Reno and Bethany were some of the harder-hit areas this go-round.

Keeping your trees well-watered throughout the year makes them stronger during those ice storms and other extreme weather.

While some limb breakage is inevitable during extreme weather, properly pruned trees are an important precaution a homeowner can take toward protecting a property’s value.  Proper pruning protects from heavy snow fall, ice (usually more damaging than snow), and our sometimes-devastating spring storms with high winds.

While there are some pruning chores homeowners can do without endangering themselves or the tree, certified arborists are trained and outfitted for the big jobs.  Maintenance and damage repair on mature tall or spreading trees often require more skill and equipment than most people can handle safely.  The chore is fraught with danger, from electrocution to falls and being struck by heavy limbs.

Some pruning needs to take place when trees are young, which helps develop a stronger branching structure.  Thinning canopies of mature trees also can help reduce breakage, while too much thinning is detrimental.

Shade trees are more structurally sound and cost-effective to maintain when they are allowed to develop one dominant, central trunk (or leader, as arborists call it).  If a trunk is allowed to develop two equal leaders, that juncture (or crotch) creates a weak spot prime for splitting.

Trees should be pruned so that branches are spaced along the dominant trunk, and they will be stronger than trees with many dominant branches.  Some experts say it’s best if this central leader reaches at least 30 feet high.

Safety First!  Consulting a professional is always recommended if you are tackling a project you have no experience with or are unsure of.

Here are some links to local arborists that can get the job done for you:

Bill Long Arborist
Cross Timber Arborist

Chainsaws flew off the store shelves following the last storm. Below are a couple of links to check out before purchasing one of the most dangerous tools available to the public.

Chainsaw Safety
Osha Quick Card

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Bethany, El Reno and others.