Winter Tree Damage: Should You Cut Yours Down?

Updated: 07/03/2014 10:36 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 5:24 PM
By: Julie Kruse
Twitter: JulieMKruse

With the heavy snow, cold temperatures and high winds the Twin Ports had this past winter, some residents have noticed that their trees aren't growing leaves; however, the Minnesota DNR said those trees could still leaf out since we had a late spring.

They said the buds could be healthy until the end of June into early July, and they advise people to wait another week to cut down their trees.

A good way check if you're tree is still alive is to do a thin surface scratch on the branch. If the surface underneath is green, the branch is healthy. Additionally, if you can bend the branch into a "U" shape, there is still life in the branch. If you scratch the three and the surface underneath is brown, the branch is dead. This does not necessarily mean the entire tree is dead.

"You should see if it will sprout buds or grow new branches to overcome what might have happened over the winter," said Minnesota DNR Forest Supervisor, Robert Slater.

Slater said it's too late to repair any damage from this past winter, but you can prepare for the next winter by making sure your tree is watered. Wood chip mulch can help on the root system by keeping the soil temperature up in the winter and usually a little cooler in the summer. He said you should also be cautious with any weed chemicals as that can effect your tree.

The damage is only in residential areas. The forests fared the winter with no significant problems.

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