Spring in Colorado can be hard on our landscapes. This spring is no exception with two significant snow storms that resulted in major limb breakage. This damage impacts our trees in many ways, some immediate and obvious, and some are delayed and are more difficult to see. It is easy to see how the limbs broken by heavy snow can distort and disfigure a tree’s structure. Large and gaping holes in the tree’s canopy are a daily reminder of winter’s power. When a tree loses large limbs the remaining limbs become exposed to new forces of wind, snow and sun. The change in exposure often increases the likelihood of repeated breakage in the future. It is important to use sound arboricultural practices to improve tree structure after such significant weather events. Selectively pruning long, over-extended, horizontal, or damaged limbs will not only reduce future breakage, but it will also greatly improve the aesthetic appeal of the tree.
Storm damaged limbs offer large open wounds that become a pathway for many pathogens to enter into the tree. Fungal and bacterial pathogens regularly infect various species of trees that include Ash, Crabapple, Apple, Willow, and Pear. These diseases slowly impact their hosts beginning in spring when the mild temperatures and higher humidity keeps spores and bacterium viable in our environment. The impact from fungal/bacterial diseases can range from early leaf drop in mid-summer to large limb die-back and tree death. It is important to make good decisions when it comes to treating pathogens in trees. It is easy to make matters worse if improper treatments are performed, or pruning is conducted at the wrong time of the year so be sure to consult one of our Certified Arborists at Mountain High Tree to put your trees on the path to recovery.