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Prune trees before first big winter snow

In 2010, Washington D.C. residents experienced one of the heaviest snowfalls in the nation's capital history. From Feb. 5-6, the National Weather Service reports 17.8 inches of snow accumulated during a three day period. This is the fourth largest three-day snowfall the area has ever seen.

Though trees that line the streets and homeowners’ yards look quint under a blanket of white, the weight of snow accumulation on tree branches can create a safety hazard. Trees and branches can break and fall on houses, cars and people.

Cynthia Kronz, of highly rated Dad’s Tree Service in Springfield, Va., says branch breakage is always a concern during snowy winter months.

“Trees are bioactive specimens,” she explains. “They continually grow and sections die. They are not stagnant.”

Pruning before the snow arrives is not only good for the tree, but it also helps prevent any potential risks for injury caused by falling limbs.

“It is a good idea to have the major deadwood in trees removed every two to three years as a general rule of thumb, more often if trying to preserve a tree that is already in decline,” Kronz says. “Weakened limbs will give way under the weight of ice and snow, so removal of these before winter weather is a smart tactic.”

Kronz says pruning is a good idea for healthy trees, as even those in good condition are susceptible to breakage during severe winter conditions.

“A good hazard pruning is an important safety consideration,” she says. “For this work, a homeowner will want to use a professional tree care service.”

Experts from Richard’s Tree Service in Annandale, Va., also agree thinning out trees and removing deadwood is an important service to have done before the season’s first big snow.

Need a Washington D.C. tree service expert to help prepare your trees for winter? Angie’s List can help. Members have exclusive access to more than 800 company ratings and reviews written by members in your neighborhood. Join today for instant access.


Comments

Pruning the trees is an important part of yearly care, especially when it must be done for hazard safety considerations. So much more in the regions where heavy snow is rather common. This is a great article, and it's content should be taken seriously. Thanks, Mike

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