This winter has been exceptionally cold out. Since our first arctic blast in November, it’s seemed like there’s been one right after the other—a roller coaster ride of single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills.

While we’ve been able to avoid much in the way of precipitation so far, it’s only a matter of time before we’re covered in snow and ice. And when we get that first major storm, we’ll need to be ready to clean up the mess it leaves behind.

As a full-service tree care company, we at Grade-A Tree Care are particularly on the alert whenever there is ice in the forecast. That’s when our phone starts lighting up with calls from home and property owners who have damaged or downed limbs. And we’re always glad to help!

Ice does the majority of its damage to trees when the wind picks up before the ice accumulation has a chance to melt, as the limbs are too rigid to move with the wind and wind up breaking off. Or sometimes the weight of the ice becomes too much for a limb to handle, and it simply can’t hang on.

In the event that you experience either of these situations, it’s good to know what your immediate response should be. That’s why we’re sharing the following steps for how to handle ice-damaged limbs and trees:

  1. Check for danger. The first step in any icy situation is to examine the area. While you may be looking at a branch already on the ground, there may be others that are ready to fall from above. There also may be exposed power lines that are hidden in the mess. If there is any danger, evaluate the area from a safe distance or skip to step 4.
  2. Assess the damage. How many trees were damaged? To what extent? Are any limbs or branches posing a safety hazard and need to be taken care of immediately? Make note of the level of damage so that you can explain it to a professional if needed.
  3. Don’t panic. The ice and snow will cause you enough headaches without worrying about your landscape. Most trees are sturdy enough to survive the damage of winter and can hold out for warmer weather to be pruned. Focus on doing what is responsible for safety and then wait for the professionals to plan the repairs.
  4. Call the pros. If the damage is extensive and requires anything more than your hands to deal with the mess, call in a professional tree service. (We hope you consider us.) With appropriate equipment, pros can deal with the clean-up and advise you on your tree care going forward. This will keep you out of harm’s way and ensure that your tree is restored to its natural beauty to the extent that is possible.

At Grade-A Tree Care, we know that ice and wind are a formidable force in the winter, and we’re ready to deal with whatever damage they create. Your trees are an important part of your property, and we promise to treat them (and you) with the best service possible. We’ll help you clean up after winter strikes and restore the beauty of your landscape.

This season, remember these tree-care steps just in case Old Man Winter decides to roar through. Keep safety as your top priority and keep us in mind for the job.