Your Christmas tree is not the only one you will need to keep in check this winter. To avoid property damage from falling branches, you will also want to be sure the trees closest to your house stay at a respectful distance.

High winds, rain, ice, and snow can knock leaves and twigs to the ground or onto your house. More damaging limbs and branches as well as entire trees can fall during extreme winter weather. Risk management advisors for large insurance companies state that you should have the trees on your property inspected and treated in the Fall or early winter. Temperature fluctuation, ice, heavy snow, and other winter conditions can weaken your trees. If they fall or break, they could injure someone, knock out electricity, or damage your home, cars, and other property.

When to prune? While it may be tempting to prune during the Summer months, Winter is the best time to prune trees when sap is down out of the branches and damaged and diseased areas of the tree are more visible. You are also helping promote new growth in the Spring by having the trees pruned during the Winter. It is also less stressful for the dormant tree pruning it in colder weather. Each time a cut happens on a tree, it is like you getting a wound to your skin. It becomes susceptible to infection. Pests and microbes use cuts on the tree as entry points and as a result, could potentially allow disease to grow. In the Winter, most pests, bacteria, fungi are also dormant.

While most of us don’t put tree pruning on our calendar or list of things to do in the Winter, consider developing a plan to incorporate cold weather pruning if you want to maintain the health and structure of the trees on your property.

Unless you are already an arborist or tree expert qualified in pruning, look for qualified experts in your area. Do not let your holidays and beyond be ruined with damaged property this winter.