What to Do When a Tree Splits

During the winter, snow storms with harsh winds and heavy snowfall can cause damage to the trees on your property. After each storm, you should inspect your property to ensure no damage was sustained. If any of your trees become damaged, it’s important to know when trees are capable of saving, and when you should say farewell to them.

split tree branches could mean the end for your property's trees

Easy Fixes

  • Broken Branches – Trees can sustain some damage without the entire tree being at risk. A few split or broken branches (even if one seems rather large) won’t affect the health of a tree as long as the trunk and a majority of the bigger limbs are in tact.
  • Large Broken Limb – If one of the larger limbs does become damaged, all is not lost. If a mature shade tree loses oe major limb, it’s possible for the limb to be pruned back to the trunk without further damage.
  • Young & Broken – Younger trees have the ability to survive split and broken branches, even if it looks mangled. As long as the trunk and main limbs are mostly intact, you can prune the broken branches and limbs with confidence that this young tree will recover rather quickly.

Give Them Some Time

When trees have multiple limbs that are damaged, you must be very careful with how you proceed. Pruning too heavily can cause the tree to ultimately die, as the foliage produces the food they need to keep growing. When a tree sustains this type of damage, it’s best to call in the help of a professional arborist. They will be able to properly assess if the tree can be saved and help prune the right amount.

When to Move On

  • Trunk Damage – When the trunk of the tree becomes damaged, there’s not much that can be done. If the trunk begins to rot or broken limbs lead to a split trunk, the damage is too much to try and repair. If the tree has a visibly split trunk, it’s safe to assume that it’s days are numbered.
  • Nothing But the Trunk – Even if trunk is healthy, a tree cannot survive if a majority of the limbs and branches have broken off. A tree that doesn’t have enough branches for leaves has no chance of living. The lack of foliage will prevent the tree from producing the amount of food it needs to grow during the growing season.

A tree that has sustained damage can be saved, but it’s important to know when to prune and when to bring in the chainsaw. If you’re in need of tree and shrub maintenance or are looking to redesign your property this coming spring, our family business can help you achieve the yard of you dreams!