Spring in Colorado brings heavy wet snow that has the potential to damage trees. If you come home to find broken tree branches we have some advice.
The first step is to assess the damage. If a tree is healthy overall and still possesses its leader (the main upward branch), most of its major limbs and 50 percent or more of its crown, the chance is good for a complete recovery.
Think long and hard about doing the clean-up work yourself, or hiring a contractor. Many of us are afraid of chain saws and ladders. We recommend reading reviews online or asking your neighbors for suggestions when hiring tree services.
For those that feel confident about doing the clean up themselves, here are some tips:
- Remove broken branches. Saw, don’t pull broken limbs. This minimizes the risk of decay, as well as the opportunity for insects or diseases to enter the tree wound.
- Prune at the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and be mindful of potential pent-up energy if the branch is twisted or bent.
- Don’t over-prune. With the loss of some branches, a tree may look unbalanced, but most trees quickly grow new foliage that hides bare areas.