The Weight of Winter Ice on Trees

Though a winter wonderland outside can look very beautiful, the harsh weather can wreak havoc on your trees and lead to damage to your property or harm to you and your family. It is important to be aware of the hazards that winter ice can bring. 

Why is Ice on Trees a Hazard?

Ice on trees is especially dangerous because it will weigh down your trees. Branches become stiffer, brittle, and ready to break when ice freezes on them. Unstable, weak branches can fall without warning, potentially landing on your home, car, and landscape. It can cause injury to anyone who happens to be outside. After a severe ice storm, tree damage is more likely to have occurred, so try to avoid walking under tree cover when you see snow on trees or ice-covered branches. It’s not a risk that you want to take. 

The Big Freeze is Over. What’s Next?

After an ice storm, you may notice there are some pressing issues in your yard, particularly trees that are covered in ice and are being weighed down heavily. It can be tempting to shake the branches to remove ice or snow, but generally, they should be left alone until the ice melts. You don’t want to accidentally cause damage to the trees or cause injury to yourself if a branch breaks. While avoiding standing directly under ice, carefully check for any hanging, broken branches that may need to be removed. If any branches or debris have already fallen and obstructed the road or driveway, they should be quickly moved to avoid accidents. If a branch has fallen on a power line, you should call your utility company immediately. Once all safety hazards have been addressed, you should be able to wait until the ice thaws before making your next move. If a tree is leaning, has fallen completely, or caused other damage after a storm, you should call a professional tree service to come in and resolve the situation.

RELATED: 7 Signs That Your Tree Should Be Removed Immediately

Preventing More Damage Before Ice Hits Again

Winter weather is extremely unpredictable. We may get several damaging ice storms, or we may have none at all. The key is to be prepared for harsh weather in any circumstance. . Pruning your trees or shrubs in winter once they go dormant is a proactive way to ensure that weak or unstable branches won’t cause damage in the next storm.  Having a professional inspection completed by a licensed, certified tree care company should be part of your property maintenance, especially after storm damage has occurred. Not only are weak branches a hazard, but a tree that needs to be removed can also cause major issues resulting in expensive repairs if it falls. 

Call the certified arborists and professional team at Hometown Tree Experts to schedule an inspection or tree removal and discuss the best ways to care for the trees on your property. Our team has the equipment and the knowledge to provide a quick response to your tree emergency