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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Caring for frost bit trees

The freezing temperatures last week may have caused some unwanted stress on your trees.
Credit: Tim Moushey

From measurable snow to below-freezing temperatures to sunshine and temperatures above 80 degrees, our weather has seen some big ups and downs in the past week.

The drastic changes in the weather not only put our flowers and plants at risk but also, our trees.

Chris Ellwood, District Manager at Davey Tree Expert Company in Westerville, Ohio said that depending on your tree, it may have been affected from the cold weather last week. 

"A large oak tree will have some limb breakage, but your smaller ones with flowers such as a hydrangea or lilac are going to need a little more care and monitoring,” said Ellwood.

Most tree limbs that are not showing any signs of life can be removed.

"The rule of thumb in Arbor culture is don't cut back to anything that is not [at least] one-third the diameter of the stem you're removing.”

Ellwood also said that it all depends on your tree because trimming your dead branches won’t always fix the problem. Other signs of plant stress due to drastic weather change could include but are not limited to leaf discoloration and wilted leaves.

Maintaining good soil health and moisture is also important, especially if your tree has undergone stress due to the weather changes. Ellwood suggests continuing to closely monitor your tree over the next several months since drought conditions can also pose a threat to your already injured tree in the late summer months.

For those that have younger trees, Ellwood stressed the importance of watering your trees when the weather gets really hot; mainly after mid-June.

“Make sure you’re watering twice a week barring any rain for about forty-five minutes.”

Watering not only in the heat of the summer months, but also watering into the fall is extremely important even when there’s not many leaves on the tree.

“Watering into October is important because that’s when fibrous root growth occurs, and you can help those new roots grow for the next season.”

Ellwood said most tree services offer free consultation and if you feel like you’re in over your head with your outdoor tree and plant problem, please reach out to the Davey Tree Expert Company.

He also encourages new homeowners with new or existing trees to reach out to an expert to learn more about the appropriate and necessary care for your trees.

For more information on your outdoor plant and tree questions and concerns visit www.davey.com.