How Icy Weather Affects Trees and How to Stay Safe

The winter months can be stressful for trees, just as they can be for people. Snow, ice, and wind all takes a toll on trees, weakening their structural integrity and sometimes putting more of a load on them than they can bear.

The good news is there are steps you can take to increase the ability of trees to withstand temperature, and to ensure the safety of you and the people you care about during wintry times.

1. Check & Prune Limbs Beforehand

Pruning trees correctly is one of the best ways you can help them withstand winter weather. Correct pruning involves many factors, including timing, proper disinfection of tools, proper pruning style (which usually depends on the type and shape of tree), and more.

If you’re a novice to pruning, you can either learn more about pruning timing and disinfection techniques online, or you can hire experts to come do it for you.

2. Never Shake Limbs

If you do have a rough storm that leaves your trees covered with ice and snow, never shake them to try to dislodge it. This can bring weak branches, already suffering from weight overload, down on you. It is best to let ice and snow melt naturally.

3. Brace Trees

If some of your trees have weak limbs, and you don’t want to see them break during storms (or in general), you can brace them. Prop 2x4s or 4x4s under weak branches to hold them upright and provide support before storms hit.

4. Do Not Approach Unstable Trees

If you aren’t sure whether or not a tree is safe, definitely do not approach it. Storms can weaken limbs or even split trees, and any movement may bring them down. If you don’t have the proper expertise to deal with storm-damaged trees – including the proper safety equipment – call in the experts rather than risking your safety or the safety of people and property around you.

5. Get Expert Help

Premier Tree Solutions is a rapidly expanding tree removal business in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in tree removal, tree trimming, tree pruning, Bobcat work, storm damage and clean up, stump grinding, branch clearing, and debris removal. If you’re looking for expert help cleaning up after a storm, assessing your trees for damage or generally caring for your yard, you can learn more by heading to our website.

The Dangers of Mulch Volcanoes

If you have trees in your yard, you most likely want to take good care of them and make sure they live long, healthy lives, right? Accordingly, you’ll definitely want to avoid the dreaded “mulch volcano.”

What Is a Mulch Volcano?

Just what is a mulch volcano? Essentially, it’s a pile of mulch that has been pushed up around a tree to form a volcano-like effect. You’ve most likely seen this effect in private yards and even at city parks or universities.

Keep in mind that a thin layer of mulch applied around a tree that grows with naturally mounded or raised roots is not a mulch volcano.

Why Is It Bad?

If mulch is supposed to be so good for plants – providing temperature consistency, suppressing weeds, and offering moisture and protection against pathogens and harsh weather – then why exactly is a mulch volcano bad for them?

The answer, explains the Washington Post, is that mulch mounds cause tree roots to grow above the ground into the mulch, rather than down into the soil. Unfortunately, this leaves the roots exposed and unable to get enough nutrition. Mulch piled high enough to rest against a tree’s trunk also softens its bark, which weakens the tree against rot, invaders and parasites.

Plus, mulch volcanoes are kind of pointless. Mulch is supposed to protect the tree’s root zone, but the root zone isn’t clustered right around the base of the tree like a mulch volcano. It actually extends out about as far as the tree’s crown, so a small pile of mulch isn’t doing much.

What Should You Do Instead?

First of all, you should leave several inches between the base of the tree and the layer of mulch to prevent rotting, weakening and parasites. Then, add a layer of mulch no more than 4 inches thick, advises the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. You can go out as far as you like, and use a garden hose laid in a circle to help you get a feel for a natural look.

Premier Tree Solutions is a growing tree removal business based in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in a number of areas, including tree removal, tree trimming, tree pruning, Bobcat work, storm damage, storm cleanup, stump grinding, and branch clearing and debris removal. You can find out more or set up an appointment to get help maintaining your trees, shrubs and yard by visiting the website.