Winter’s Icy Arrival Devastates Tree Canopy

With the first series of ice storms pounding parts of Texas and Oklahoma, saying that winter is here would be an understatement. It’s mindboggling to think a few short weeks ago the South was experiencing the peak of its fall foliage. As disheartening as it is, those same trees that shared their vibrant fall colors are the ones most susceptible to the after effects of the ice storm.

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Ice Friday morning in Hugo, OK

Steve Houser, president of Dallas tree care company Arborilogical Services, explains, “With the warm weather, some trees were holding their leaves longer, and that made them more vulnerable to ice.”

You see, more leaves means more surface area for ice, which means more weight on branches, causing them to break.  Fallen branches, or whole trees for that matter, pose as a threat to public safety. Fallen trees can block roadways, tear down power lines, and cause other serious damage. The combination of strong winds and freezing rain serves as winter’s favorite recipe for disaster. However, winter’s assault won’t go without some resistance. To restore the loss of trees and help communities replant after natural disasters, check out our Community Tree Recovery program.

The effect of ice on trees is brutal. In fact, ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times (Dolce, 2013). The snow storm is plowing its way east and icing over every surface along the way. Unfortunately for us, December and January are the most common times of year for ice storms to visit, which means the worst may still come.

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Tree damage from an ice storm in Flat Rock, NC

Although we have no control over aggressive weather conditions, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that your yard trees survive this winter. Read Brianne’s  Your questions about fall planting: answered! to see what you can do for winter tree survival. If this post didn’t reach you in time to prepare for the ice storms spreading across the country, think about donating to our Community Tree Recovery program to help plant trees and restore hope in areas affected by natural disasters.

Interested in learning how trees make it through the winter? Read Michael Snyder’s How do Trees Survive Winter Cold?

 

 

 

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