Many trees in the Denver area experienced cold-weather-related damage this past May. Late-season snow and frost shriveled up the young branches, leaves, and buds of trees just as the trees were breaking their dormancy for spring. Here’s what you should know to manage any residual ice, snow, or frost damage on your trees.

Time Heals Many Frost-Damaged Trees

Immediately after a late-spring frost or snow event, trees often look forlorn and destined for the fireplace. However, the actual freeze damage to your trees may only range as deep as the outermost leaves and tender new branches. Given enough time to shed damaged leaves and grow new ones, many frost- and snow-damaged trees come back as good as new.

Freezing temperatures may have caused destruction of buds or blooms on young branches of fruiting and flowering trees. Due to bud and bloom damage, you won’t see much fruit or flower production (if you see any at all this year). However, your frost-damaged fruiting and flowering trees can survive with proper pruning and attention.

Now is a good time to schedule the inspection and maintenance of your trees by a professional tree service. Trees have had a chance to grow a bit in warm temperatures and recover from any frost or snow damage. Your tree professional can prune, stake, and brace trees to help them recover from any damage found during the tree inspection.

Tree Inspections Help Reveal Hidden Damage

Trees suffer a variety of damage from late-winter frosts and snowstorms. The extremely cold temperatures of deep winter aren’t necessarily the climate-based killers of most trees. Rapid fluctuations between warm late spring days and freezing late-spring nights do cause issues with tree damage and death.

When you schedule a professional tree inspection, your trees are examined for the following late-spring-freeze issues:

  • Frost cracks or radial shakes
  • Sunscald canker on trunks
  • Winterburn on evergreen trees
  • Dieback of twigs, branches, and limbs
  • Ice and snow damage to the bark
  • Girdling of the trunk by hungry wildlife
  • Root damage on shallow-rooted trees
  • Stunted growth of trees

Your tree service inspects trees near driveways, sidewalks, and roads for signs of salt damage, too. The tree-care professional works with you to design a recovery plan for frost-, snow-, and salt-affected trees.

Non-Recovering Trees Require Severe Pruning or Removal

Ice-encased and snow-laden tree limbs are prone to snap or split in late spring since the weight of new leaves plus the precipitation is too much for the branches to bear. In most cases. Tree-care professionals recommend removing storm- and freeze-damaged limbs from trees as soon as conditions make it safe outdoors to do so.

Sometimes, a homeowner doesn’t realize the state of limb and branch damage on their trees from late winter storms. A broken limb may go unnoticed and leave a tree open to fungal and insect infestation for months. A comprehensive tree inspection by your tree service reveals hidden tree damage and shows you exactly which of your trees you must cut back and which trees you should remove for the safety of people and property.

For example, you should remove any conifers that split apart over the past cold late spring. Wax myrtles, hollies, and other large flowering shrubs may need to be cut down to the ground and allowed to regrow.

Your tree service will cut back any deciduous trees that they can save by trimming broken branches back to the branch collar. The tree service technicians will also cut back loose bark to where the bark is stable. Wounded trees may be treated to resist pest and disease problems.

In some cases, you can save split-forked trees from future storm damage with cabling and bracing. Your tree service can also reshape lopsided trees that are asymmetrical due to late-spring-frost damage.

Schedule inspection of your late-spring damaged trees in the Denver, Colorado area by contacting Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. today. We’ve been lovingly caring for Denver’s trees for over 80 years.