How Are Trees More Dangerous In The Winter?

winter tree

Winter weather can make everything seem a little more dangerous if you aren’t used to it or ready for it. This winter, many areas that don’t normally see a lot of winter weather were overloaded with it, which caused many problems and dangers that most people didn’t know how to handle. Whether it be driving in the snow or walking on the ice, dealing with winter weather is a skill that you must prepare for and practice.


Dead Limbs Are Difficult to Spot


The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about how trees are more dangerous during winter is that it is nearly impossible to identify a dead limb when a tree is dormant. As a tree maintenance worker, this can be really dangerous when up working on a tree. To avoid this potential hazard, pay closer attention to see if the limb has viable buds, which would indicate a live limb.  You can walk on dead limbs but it is much safer to walk on a limb that is alive. Proper tree care will eliminate these hazards.  By removing dead limbs when the tree is in full leaf, you don’t have to worry as much if you will be working on a dead limb when the leaves are gone.


Dead Limbs Are Easier to Sag or Break Under the Weight of Snow & Ice


For the average person, many of the dangers that trees can pose during the winter have to do with heavy snowfall or ice. Tree limbs tend to sag under the weight of snow and ice, which can cause tree limbs to sag or break under the weight. Trees can also pose a threat to drivers in times of harsh winter weather. Low limbs have the possibility to obstruct your sight while driving.


The most important thing you can do to prevent these dangerous situations is to trim your trees in the late fall or early winter before it starts to get cold enough to snow or ice. That way, all the weakest limbs are removed before they are susceptible to the extra weight. Hopefully the healthy limbs will be strong enough to support the snow and ice that accumulates over the winter, which generally is the case.


Another important area to trim trees is near your house or garage. If you have a lot of branches that hang over your house or your garage this can potentially be a problem if there is a strong winter storm with a lot of snow that weighs branches down. Don’t forget when you are taking care of the branches over your house to also check any that might be harmful to your deck or garage if you have them, because if those fall they can also cause damage that will be expensive to repair.


Downed Trees from Heavy Winds


Wind can also make trees more dangerous during the wintertime. In blizzards or heavy storms, strong winds can bring down trees. If a tree comes down during a blizzard it can be difficult to stop before hitting it if the roads are snow packed or icy. So drive slowly and be extra careful if you’re driving in wooded areas during a winter storm.


Stewart Scott is the owner of Cevet, a tree trimming company in Columbia, Mo. For nearly 20 years, Cevet has provided tree trimming service needs to people all across mid-Missouri.

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