January is the time for resolutions and new beginnings. Have you added getting your yard – especially your trees – in shape to your list for this year? Tree pruning (trimming) can be done any time of the year for all trees except oaks and elms. However, winter is the time of the year when you may have more downtime to accomplish household tasks. Plus, pruning trees in the winter is better for them and your landscape!
Most trees and shrubs are bare in the colder months. How can you tell if the wood on your tree is dead or alive in the middle of winter? Although it may be tough to tell at first glance, there are many ways to spot the deadwood on a tree. A quick inspection of your own trees may reveal some of the signs below!
7 signs to be on the lookout for spotting deadwood:
- Clinging, dead leaves while other branches are bare. One caveat to this sign is when examining oak and beech trees.
- Healthy beech and oak trees often hang on to dead leaves long into the winter.
- Flaking bark that exposes smooth wood underneath.
- Large amounts of fungus along branches.
- Small twigs and branches are no longer green beneath the bark.
- Branches and twigs are no longer flexible. Deadwood will easily snap, feel lighter, and drier.
- Dead branches and twigs will not have any live buds.
- Branch collar forming around the dead branch. This is a protective measure by a tree done to stop the spread of disease to healthy parts of the tree!
Let’s see if you can spot signs of deadwood down below!