With winter setting in, it’s time to bundle up and take care of your family. But have you given enough thought to caring for your trees? No matter the type of tree you currently have planted in your yard, there are specific issues that cold weather brings. While these winter problems are common among trees, it’s important to take action. As soon as you notice that your tree is suffering, call your emergency tree service in Monroe to ensure that it’s taken care of properly.

Fluctuations in Temperature

It’s expected that temperatures drop during the winter months. Your trees can typically handle low temperatures. But if those cold days are quickly followed by more temperate days and then even colder days come, your trees could suffer. Fluctuations in temperature can cause trees stress and injury. While you may not notice it until the spring, your tree may not flower as usual.

Radial Shakes

Also known as frost cracks, these lines appear along the trunk of the trees. Typically, they don’t occur unless temperatures reach below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Frost cracks are most apparent on the south and southwest sides of trees because of the increased exposure to the fluctuations in the temperature throughout the day. Maple, oak, walnut, crabapple, and willow trees are the most susceptible to frost cracks. Once you notice cracks, they’ll probably return annually. Unfortunately, these frost cracks leave tree trunks weak and more prone to breakage.


During the winter months, trees have little to no foliage to protect their vulnerable trunks. If the weather is continually switching between sunny and cloudy, you may notice reddish-brown rough spots appearing on the trunk. These are known as sunscald spots. Most often found on beech, maple, willow, linden, and pine trees, this condition is quite literally a sunburn. As the air around the tree begins to warm, it triggers a de-acclimation of trunk tissue. The sun then scalds the outside layer of the bark, which eventually sloughs off. Trees that have been affected by sunscald typically struggle to thrive throughout the year. They may have less foliage or experience stem dieback.

Salt Damage

When ice and snow hit, homeowners rely on salt to help melt things more quickly. While it might be an efficient way to keep your pavement clear, it can cause serious damage to your trees. When the salt soaks through the soil, it impacts your tree’s ability to soak up nutrients and water. Trees that experience salt damage struggle to thrive once spring hits. They may experience scorched leaves, dead areas, or the browning of leaves.

Excessive Snow and Ice

While you may be dreaming of a white Christmas, it’s important to keep an eye on your trees. Heavy snowfall and ice storms could put undue stress on the limbs of your tree. Over time, this could cause branches to bend and break. If possible, prevent breakage by tying branches together loosely before the snow begins to fall. Use pieces of cloth or coated twine to prevent any cuts or bruising on the bark. Then, remove the ties in the early spring.

Winter can be a difficult time for trees. If you have questions about the best way to protect your flora, enlist the help of your tree care service in Monroe.