Home Features November 12, 2012

Prepare your Trees for a Winter Storm

I have vivid memories of waking up in the middle of a stormy night to the sound of trees swaying back and forth, wondering if one was going to crash through my roof. I’ve lucked out so far, but arborists tell me to not always count on it. We are advised to prepare our trees for winter weather – and get a more restful night’s sleep as a result!

Downed trees here are typically due to wind that hits when wet conditions leave tree roots without solid ground to hold firm. Add heavy snow or ice on the limbs, and your risk gauge goes up. So experts emphasize the importance of tree maintenance. Branches act like sails when the wind kicks up, so their pruning is a smart investment. Fall is the ideal time to remove visible deadwood and branches that may drag on the ground when covered by snow, or fall onto your house.

Trees are definitely worth keeping healthy and strong. They not only provide beauty and privacy, but also energy efficiency to our homes. Landscaping can add 10-20% more value to a home, especially landscaping that incorporates mature trees. It’s said that business areas with trees attract more customers (and they stay longer and spend more money) and apartments with trees have reduced tenant turnover. A well-chosen tree adds curb appeal and makes a home appear established within its environment.

So aren’t we glad that Washington’s called the Evergreen State? Here’s to a good night’s sleep during the next storm.