7 tips to remove, restore snow-damaged trees

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 20:33:49-04

A day after a major spring snowstorm dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas of Colorado, many people were left snowed in with buried pathways, some power outages and a lot of downed trees. 

So what do you do with them? We've got 7 tips:

1. Check for hazards:

Before approaching a tree, examine your surroundings to avoid making contact with downed utility lines or standing under broken, hanging branches. 

2. Call your town officials if necessary:

Trees between the street and a Town sidewalk may be the responsibility of Town maintenance crews.

3. Find out how much of the tree was damaged: 

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.

4. Be careful knocking snow off branches:

This may cause the branches to break. If you must remove snow, gently push up on branches from below to prevent adding additional stress.

5. Remove broken branches: 

This minimizes the risk of decay and insects or diseases entering the 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.

6. 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.

7. Don't try to do it all yourself:

If the job requires running a chainsaw overhead, sawing from a ladder or removing large branches or entire trees, contact an insured, certified arborist. Professionals often are listed in the phone book under "tree services."  

Information provided by the Colorado State Forest Service. 


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