Are Your Trees Damaged From Winter? | Blog | Front Range Arborists

Are Your Trees Damaged From Winter?

When winter starts to break and the first signs of spring begin to appear, it is time to check the health of your trees.

There is the possibility your trees may have suffered from more than just the cold. You can look for telltale indications that trees are browning, which may point to a condition known as “winter injury.”

There are a number of plant and tree species that can be affected by winter injury. Understanding what to look for and the steps you need to take to improve tree health is important. The first thing you will need to do is determine whether your trees are showing signs of browning. That is, of course, as long as you know which trees to examine.

If you are unsure about your species of trees, what to look for, and you want to ensure your trees will survive winter injury, consider hiring a reputable arborist in Colorado. Part of the service we offer at Front Range Arborists includes consultation and a free estimate on potential services you may need. Taking care of plants, shrubs and trees are what we do. So, if you are concerned that an especially harsh winter has caused irreparable damage, reach out to the experts for advice.

Winter Injury Tree Types

Broadleaf and needle species of evergreens can be impacted by winter injury. If you have species such as Boxwood, Japanese Yews, Douglas Fir, or Fraser, there is a distinct possibility winter injury will occur if they are not able to adapt to cold weather.
One of the main reasons homeowners and businesses may see winter damage is due to previously mild seasonal weather followed by a harsh winter. Trees are like humans in many ways and need to adjust to changes in weather and climate. If you aren’t dealing with winter damage, it is indicative of the fact that the winters where you live have been mild.

Winter Injury Symptoms

So, how do you know you are looking at winter damage? The main symptom of winter damage is needles that have browned. This typically occurs on the south side of the trees, although it is also common in needles that are not raised above the snowline.
These species are hardy, but they do need moisture to survive the winter root drought. Frozen soil does not allow for easy water absorption, leaving trees struggling to draw water through the roots. Trees will begin to lose water over the colder months when the sun is shining or there are active winds.

Changes in weather that cycle rapidly are likely to result in a symptom known as “winter burn.” The sun continues to shine in winter and can cause untold damage to trees. This symptom occurs due to sunlight reflecting off the snow and heating up exposed sides of the tree. The consequence of winter burn is the temperature drops during the night and the rapid change causes injury to affected trees.

Avoiding Winter Injury

You may be able to avoid winter injury by observing certain good practices at the end of summer. Fertilizing or pruning at the end of summer is generally not advisable, as there is the possibility that it will promote new growth. However, you should keep watering your shrubs, evergreens and broadleaf trees throughout this period and up until the first frost, when the ground begins to freeze.

Mulch can be used around the base of trees to conserve water in the soil. It also offers a layer of protection from the frost for tree roots. You may also wish to consider burlap screens, which can protect trees from harsh winds and any salt spray coming from nearby roads.

Consult with Front Range Arborists

Winter injury describes a specific condition that affects evergreens and broadleaf trees. However, your shrubs and trees may suffer other types of damage, such as broken branches from heavy snow or wind. It is essential to protect the health of your trees coming into spring and summer by repairing any injuries and pruning unhealthy or dead branches.

If you want to ensure the job is done right, Front Range Arborists can provide excellence in consultation and services in Colorado Springs and neighboring areas. We are licensed and highly experienced arborists, serving both residential and commercial customers. When the health of trees is important at your home or business, Front Range Arborists can provide consultation, shrub and tree pruning, stump and tree removal, and winter water services.

Consultation with a highly qualified arborist will put your mind at ease if you discover your trees have suffered injury over the winter. Call Front Range Arborists today for a free estimate on maintaining or improving tree health throughout the year. We can provide a number of essential services that can significantly improve tree health and durability through many winters to come.