Above:Crepe Myrtle Tree Ensconced in Ice
Ice hit North Texas hard this weekend. Some of the effects were pretty, some were not.
Above: Broken Tree Limbs, Ice Storm Damage
We asked our fellow Master Gardener, Eric, for advice. Driving around seeing tree limbs down all over the city is distressing. Although we can’t save every tree from ice damage, we can head off some of the damage by heeding Eric’s words:
The main damage trees sustain during ice storms are limbs that break due to the excess weight from the ice that collects on the end of the tree limbs. This is usually due to improper pruning techniques that strip all the foliage away from the limbs except for a “Lions Tail” on the very end of the limb. The ice collects on the end of the branch thus creating a very strong downward vertical cantilever force. The longer the limb, the greater chance for failure.
Having a certified Arborist prune your trees will not guarantee your trees will never suffer broken limbs during an ice storm but you will suffer far fewer broken limbs than your neighbors who hire the drive by “tree toppers”. Proper “pre-storm” tree maintenance is the key to less damage for your trees.
If your trees do suffer ice damage, be sure to contact a professional tree care company to properly access the damage and suggest the best method of treatment.
Pictures by Starla