Spring tends to be the time of year when most homeowners start thinking about their landscape. But if you’ve spotted a problem tree during the winter months, there’s no need to wait for warmer weather to take care of it. In fact, there are a few compelling reasons why winter is an ideal time for tree removal, as long as you plan strategically. Here’s what you should know.
Why Have a Tree Removed in Winter?
Dormant trees have several characteristics which could make them easier to remove. For one, foliage is less of an issue, so it’s easier for tree care professionals to assess the structure of the tree and make precise cuts. Bare limbs are also lighter and easier to manage, making tree removal more efficient this time of year. With fewer leaves to worry about, post-removal cleanup is also less of a hassle.
Another reason to chop a tree in winter is that most homeowners’ lawns and gardens aren’t in bloom, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing surrounding plant life during its peak season. Plus, you can use the winter months to plan out how you’ll use your revised lawn space when it comes time for spring planting, whether it’s expanding your gardens, planting a new tree, or simply laying sod to add more grassy area.
There are also some circumstances for which tree removal simply cannot wait. Though many factors go into the decision to have a tree removed, according to experts from the University of Maryland, the following criteria could be considered dangerous and call for prompt attention:
- Proximity to power lines
- Severe trunk damage
- Damage to 50% or more of the tree
- Hollow trunk
- Many dead branches
- Trunk rot, fungus, or other disease that cannot be remedied
- Root system damage
If any of these factors are noticed or develop during the winter months, it’s best to schedule your tree removal from a certified arborist right away to minimize the additional risks that could be caused by any winter weather.
When Should You Cut Your Tree Down in Colder Weather?
Most deciduous trees are dormant in Georgia from late fall through the end of winter, between the months of November and March. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in fall and include certain varieties of maple, dogwood, magnolia, ash, gum, willow, cyprus, sassafras, birch, and walnut.
When it comes to evergreen trees, such as Virginia Pine, Loblolly Pine, Eastern Hemlocks, and Atlantic White Cedars, winter is still a good time of year for removal. Although these trees don’t have a seasonal leaf drop like their deciduous siblings, they still tend to have flowering seasons in the spring. Therefore their branches may be lighter and visibility may be greater in the winter months, when blooms aren’t a concern.