Busted and broken trees in your yard? Here’s what to do!
Broken branches. Many a white pine branch ends up on the ground as a result of snow and ice loads. Ditto for other weak-wooded tree and evergreen species. Check your yard where branches came off, and make clean cuts back to the outside edge of the ring where the lost branch attached to the trunk or larger branch. Stubs can get infected and carry disease back into the tree.
Hangers. Snapped, cracked and popped branches that are still hanging on need to come off. Be especially wary of bigger ones that might drop at any time and cause damage to you, others and property underneath. Call an experienced (and insured) tree professional to remove these dangers, which arborists refer to as “widow-makers.” Also be aware that hangers are often under tension and will snap up and seriously injure unaware homeowners wielding chainsaws. Cleaning off small branches from the ground is fine. For the bigger and higher stuff, I’d recommend biting the bullet and calling a pro.
Also be aware that hangers are often under tensions and will snap up and seriously injure unaware homeowners wielding chainsaws.
Cleaning off small branches from the ground is fine. For the bigger and higher stuff, we recommend biting the bullet and calling a pro.
Saggers. Lots of arborvitae, Leyland cypresses, yews, boxwoods and similar evergreens might look badly misshapen, though not quite broken apart.As temperatures warm, these might spring back into shape better than you think. So wait until the weather warms consistently before doing anything drastic.
In some cases, you might be able to use ties to bundle up and pull back splayed-apart branches.
We suggests leaning toward soft, wide bands as tying material instead of narrower rope or wires. We also advises not tying too tightly and checking later in the season to see if the form has recovered when the ties are loosened. Pruning and patience might also solve a broken and saggy situation.
Prune out all of the damaged stuff, then sit back and wait. Wait to see what happens, and more importantly, wait to see how much it bothers you to look at the plant. Most people assume that the plant will be so deformed that they won’t be able to tolerate it. But maybe it won’t be so bad once it grows in.