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Forester shares tips for damaged trees

NDSU Extension

Winter storms may have caused damage to trees, as the weight of snow can overwhelm and break weaker branches. Joe Zeleznik, forester for NDSU extension, has advice for people facing damaged trees.

"First of all we have to see how much damage there is. If it's less than about a quarter of the crown then the tree should survive, it should recover just fine. If a quarter to a half of the crown is gone, well then, the tree is going to be stressed. If it's more than a half of the crown, then the tree is going to be really stressed and you might want to consider removing the tree. If it's just broken branches, then you can prune out the dead parts, the broken parts. Just follow proper pruning cuts and the tree should be able to heal itself, recover just fine."

Zeleznik says that there have been reports of young apple and maple trees being unable to bend enough to withstand the snow.

"Sometimes you do have to take the trees out because they sustained too much damage, but in the long run, that may be a better choice. And — trying to make lemonade out of lemons here— it could be a time to plant a new tree, and that's always a good thing."

For tips on proper pruning visit International Society of Arboriculture’s website.