Posted: February 12, 2016

Temperatures may have eased in southeastern Minnesota this last week, but to the dismay of folks eager for spring, blizzard conditions and high wind speeds are revisiting the region. While winter winds scatter our trash bins and stray shopping bags, they dole out blustery punishment to our trees as well.  Though we haven't endured the heavy snowfall experienced by our friends out east, upper Midwest snowstorms bring variant winds powerful enough to break branches and topple saplings. When wind damage goes beyond cosmetic to causing damage that requires attention, the professional arborists at Maier Tree & Lawn can help.

A few broken branches may be no big deal, but too much damage can be bad news for your beloved boughs. If wind damage occurs, there are a few things to consider as you decide whether to call in the pros. Broken, hanging branches large or small can be a hazard to people and structures. If the tree is young, there's a good chance it can recover from wind damage. Young trees are surprisingly resilient, and a little bit of roughhousing doesn't have to be a death sentence. Regardless of age, wind damage such as trunk splitting or loss of major branches may be the end … or the beginning of the end. Check out this visual guide on tree health if you're not sure which category your wind damaged tree falls into.  Don't be afraid to involve a tree health professional from Maier Tree & Lawn if you're not sure.

Wounds from storm damage can expose wood to decay. Depending on the location of the wound on the tree, decay might lead to significant structural problems down the road. Your tree can deal with a broken branch or two among the upper limbs, but a major split or wound on the trunk can introduce decay to the extent that the tree will become hazardous in the future. Consider the position of the tree in your landscape. If this year’s storm damage introduces significant decay, what is at risk when the tree fails in three years? Some homeowners will elect to keep a low risk tree just long enough to get something else started, then schedule the removal before decay makes the tree hazardous.

Winter is winding down, but there may still be a few chilly challenges left for your trees. Wind damage can be treatable and is to be expected now and then. If you're in the Rochester area and notice that your trees look a little windswept, contact Maier Tree & Lawn at 507.286.8733 for a consultation, or check out our website for more details.

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