Snowfalls during the month of May can cause significant tree limb breakage.
Freezing rain and wet snow accumulating on tree limbs can be too heavy for a limb to support if the limb is weak, or has existing pockets of decay. Heavy, wet snowfall in excess of three to four inches can cause structural stress in tree limbs to the point of breaking limbs completely off. Sometimes the limb will be broken but still attached or hung up in the tree. The threat of tree limb damage increases with freezing rain and higher accumulations of snow on the limbs, according to Mark Ellison, assistant director of Urban Forestry for the City of Cheyenne.
“Homeowners can use a broom or other “soft” object to shake snow laden limbs on smaller trees to remove some of the snow accumulation. Be careful not to damage the limb with the tool being used. Larger limbs can usually support some snow weight unless there is hidden decay damage within the limb. Be careful not to park vehicles under large trees while snow is accumulating on the limbs,” said Ellison.
Wind occurring with snow can be either beneficial or detrimental. The wind can blow snow off of the limbs or it could provide additional stress to a limb already bearing a heavy snow accumulation.
Broken limbs can affect the health of trees by providing an entrance for disease organisms or insects to enter the tree. Sometimes when a limb has broken off of a tree, the tearing process can cause the structural stability of a tree to be damaged to the point that the tree will have to be removed.
Limbs that have been broken and are still attached to the tree or hung up in the tree should be removed as soon as possible, said Ellison. Broken limbs can fall out at any time causing unexpected damage to people, vehicles or other objects below them. The property owner is responsible for these damages.
If you need to hire an Arborist to prune broken branches or haul off debris, be sure to hire a company that is licensed in Cheyenne. Licensed tree care companies have the experience, education and equipment to take care of your trees properly. They also have the insurance coverage needed for doing dangerous and difficult work. To view the latest list of licensed tree care companies in Cheyenne go to: www.cheyennetrees.com. Also, do not pile limbs in the street or the public right-of-way. Limbs and trunk sections smaller than 12 inches in diameter or less can be hauled to the City’s compost facility at 3714 Windmill Rd. and dropped-off free of charge.
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