Tree Health Tips: Get older trees inspected before ice storms

(NC) In many Canadian neighbourhoods, older trees add character and a sense of heritage to streets and homes. But during severe weather, these trees often show their age and can break or fall, causing damage to property and even injury to people. Don’t wait until after a major ice storm hits to inspect your trees — use this guide to spot signs of trouble and protect your family and neighbours.

Inspect. Check your trees for dead branches, peeling bark, cracks in the trunk, fungus near the roots and cracked or raised soil. Take a step back to look at the tree as a whole to see if it’s leaning; trees leaning towards the East are more likely to fall because most winds blow from the West.

Prune. Tackle damaged limbs and branches to help balance leaning trees and distribute their weight more evenly. Pruning also opens up tree canopies to let in more light and air for a healthier tree.

Brace. Add some support to weaker trees with cables or bracing rods on either side of the tree. Protect tender bark with padding before attaching the cables.

Prevent. Keep trees healthy and stop problems like damaged branches before they start with year-round gardening and maintenance. Use appropriate treatments for pests and fungus, and water, fertilize and mulch regularly. Don’t be afraid to call in a professional arborist or landscaper for help and expertise.

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