Winter Tree Damage

The winter weather can be very rough on trees and all vegetation in general. While violent storms can occur in the spring and summer that causes damage to trees, Minnesota winters can be brutal. Damage and injuries can occur to tree trunks and the weight of snow and ice can break off branches. Pruning may be required if such breakage occurs and cabling and bracing to strengthen the structure.

You can opt to have our Minneapolis tree service come to you and assess your trees so preventative measures can be put in place that will help the trees withstand the weather better. Trees that are on sloping ground, top heavy, and leaning are all susceptible to root failure. This means that roots need to be inspected thoroughly to identify whether or not there is a problem.

Types Of Damage

The cold temperature in the winter is one of the culprits behind damage, but trees do adapt to their environment if they survived it in their youth. Any trees in Minnesota that are not hardy can be killed or injured during the winter months. Then again, even the hardy can become injured if the temperature is abnormally cold or the temperature drastically fluctuates.

Sun scald is another type of damage that tends to happen on the south or southwest side of the tree. Dead bark looks elongated, dry, or cracked. Even on cold days, the sun can heat up the bark for the temperature to then drop rapidly when the sun is blocked by clouds or the sun assumes a position that places it behind another tree or a building. Young trees tend to be more susceptible to sun scald.

A third type of winter damage is the discoloration of evergreen trees. Wind and the winter sun can cause water loss in the foliage, cellular activity can be accelerated due to the sun being blocked suddenly and the temperature dropping, the temperatures drop before the trees have hardened off, or chlorophyll is destroyed and not resynthesized when the temperature drops below 28 degrees.

Other types include dieback when the buds on trees are killed by cold temperatures, root injury due to roots not becoming dormant as fast as the rest of the tree, the repeated freezing and thawing of soil, salt damage from salt trucks salting the streets, animals feeding on and using the trees for shelter, and the bending and breaking of branches from heavy snow and ice.


Protection against winter weather can be put in place to ensure the integrity of your trees. We can help you determine the best course of action to prevent the above issues. For instance, you can have a burlap screen placed around evergreens to avoid sun scald. To keep rodents from burrowing holes into the trees, a hardware cloth or tree guard can be placed around the trunk. If heavy snow and ice is a potential issue, then trees can be “wrapped” for the winter.

Contact A Qualified Tree Service Today

The winter can be very harsh on your trees, which can result in tree removal if the trees are damaged beyond repair. To repair damage that has already occurred or to implement preventative measures, call us at 1-800-311-3919 for your free quote.