What Do You Do In Winter?
Written by: Brent Kahn (Certified Arborist #302A) – Tree & Landscape Manager
I have been working in this industry for over 30 years now. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the question “What do you do in winter?” My response is always the same “We work all winter long caring for your trees.” With the appropriate clothing, equipment, and training we can safely do many of the same things that we can during the other seasons. Winter can be the best time to perform certain tree care services.
We only want to prune Oak and Elm trees from October thru March. Oak trees are affected by Oak Wilt and Elms by Dutch Elm Disease. These are fungal diseases that enter the trees through open pruning wounds during the growing season. Oaks and Elms are majestic and high-value trees on your property. If the fungal disease enters one of them, it can be detrimental to the tree. This makes winter the best time to prune your Oaks and Elms
Winter is a great time for pruning other trees as well. Dense branching and leaves can make it difficult to see what limbs we need to prune. When the leaves are off, our arborists can really see the framework of the branches. We refer to this as the tree’s structure. Our arborists can make the best decisions when they can see what to prune. Freeman Maples, Lindens, and Crabapples, just to name a few, all benefit from winter pruning.
During winter your perennial plants and flowers all go to sleep. They are the ones you work so hard to keep beautiful and enjoy during the short season we have. These are also the perennials that are directly underneath your trees we need to prune/remove. Or maybe by the corner of the house where we need to drag out the branches we cut. If you have perennials that you value and don’t want to be damaged, winter is the best time to work on your trees.
Cold weather usually means the area lakes start to ice-over and the ground starts to freeze. This can be nature’s way of protecting your yard from our equipment. Our specialty bucket trucks, portable lifts, and grapple loaders allow us to do our jobs safely and efficiently. They can also have an impact on your yard. We use them for pruning and removing trees. The process of removing a large tree can be very impactful to the surrounding area. We may need to take many trips back and forth to remove all the debris that is created. When it comes time to drop the standing truck there is no good way to avoid dents and divots in the yard. The firm and frozen ground that winter brings can help to minimize these impacts. The frozen winter lakes allow us to work on trees that were once over open water. If the ice is safe enough, we can drop branches or even whole trees onto it – a job that is not so easy in the summer months.
As an arborist, caring for your trees in winter is just part of the job. It really makes us appreciate what all the seasons bring. If you haven’t called us yet to look at your tree pruning or removal needs, it’s not too late. Call your Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist today and we’d be happy to come take a look.