Remember to Inspect Your Trees After This Brutal Winter in Grand Rapids
A whiff of spring is finally in the air, and we Michiganders will finally have the opportunity to clear off our driveways and sidewalks, to gather up the branches that came down in snowstorms, and to assess the damage of winter. But while it’s relatively simple to diagnose street condition by counting pot holes, it’s not always immediately obvious how much damage our trees and plants have sustained.
The last four months have been hard on our trees. We’ve had severe windstorms, an historic ice storm, and at least three rounds of polar vortex. While some trees can survive extreme cold, many others cannot. Michigan has the relative protection of the Great Lakes to buffer the freezing temperatures that sweep across the prairies through the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. But due to polar vortices, the temperatures in Michigan this winter were often lower than those in usually colder places. We may find dieback in decorative trees such as Japanese maples, and stone fruit trees such as cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines, will probably not have a good fruiting year in 2014. Of course, it will take a bit longer to see this damage than it will for other kinds.
Until now, we’ve had the barrier of high snow drifts to keep us from inspecting our trees in Grand Rapids, MI, but in the next week or two, go out and take a good look at your trees. It’s important to be proactive in minimizing any damage. Broken limbs or tree tops will have to be cut back, pruned, and trimmed correctly to prevent weak growth and a future pattern of damage. Do not attempt to clear branches from power lines yourself – call a professional. In fact, it’s a good general rule that, when in doubt, consult an arborist. Hospital bills and equipment repair can be a lot more expensive than a tree consult. As always, Chop is available to field your calls and questions, and to help you service your trees back into health and good condition.