Winter is upon us once again, and just like every year tree work slows down, but is tree work really seasonal? I have pondered that question and have tried to relay to the public that tree work can be done 12 months out of the year. It continues that winter is our slowest season, when in fact, it should be our busiest. When trees go dormant the effects of trimming, transplanting, and many other tree maintenance procedures have a drastically reduced effect on the overall health of the plant.

So with that out of the way, the next thing to overcome is the conditions. Winter gets pretty cold, but do those conditions really intimidate arborists? Let me explain that with a brief explanation of our job. Almost every day, an arborist will put on a climbing saddle, that is no more complex then a pair pants, and climb up 60 – 80 feet, the height of most trees in the the state of New Jersey. He will then tie in on a limb no bigger then 2-3 inches in diameter and dangle off a 1/2 inch thick piece of rope. If that doesn’t intimidate a tree guy, why would cold weather scare him away?

Finally we reach the last question that is typically asked to me in the winter. How do you know if a limb is alive or dead in the winter? In winter dead limbs are easier to spot because the leaves are not blocking your view. Death in tree limbs is not determined solely by leaf growth, but by buds and texture of the limb. Through years of training and experience an arborist develops a knack for finding dead limbs in trees. If you don’t believe me ask my friends. Every time I’m in a car with them or walking around a wooded area, there I am spotting the dead limbs.

This winter, do the best for your trees. Don’t overlook the plants that keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Ben Vanderbeck
NJ Certified Tree Expert # 573


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