December 27

Steps to Take When Your Trees Ice Over

Info, Tips


If the Farmer’s Almanac is to be trusted, this winter is going to be a pretty rough one for Indianapolis, and the threat of ice storms is very high. Trees and ice do not mix very well, and your trees are likely to face quite a bit of damage this coming season. The best thing you can do is prepare the soil around your trees and winterize them in the fall. By now, however, it is almost too late – so what can you do?

There are some things you can do before, during, and after the storm to help your trees out!

Before the Storm

  • Try to break up the frozen soil around the snow and check to see if your tree needs water. Frozen soil makes getting hydration very difficult.
  • Move anything that is parked under trees – boats, cars, or campers – away. You don’t want to have to deal with a broken windshield in an ice storm.

During the Storm

  • If there is a break in the action, then you can go out and check your trees. Unless something looks wrong, it is generally unsafe to go outside during the brunt of the storm.
  • If you have an evergreen tree with branches that are starting to sag, you can prop them up with boards to take some of the pressure away.
  • If you see any tree limbs or trees that have fallen on power lines, immediately call your power company or 911.
  • Michigan State University also recommends calling the power company if any branches that are touching your power lines become thickly coated in ice.
  • Do not go near any downed power lines!

After the Storm

  • Contact Menchhofer Tree Care immediately if you have any downed trees that have roots attached or downed limbs that are too big for you to simply pick up.
  • Break up any ice that is on the ground and covering the soil – you don’t want to create a wall against hydration getting to your trees.
  • The University of Illinois recommends corrective pruning at this time as well.
  • Small trees that you replant yourself should be stabilized using wires.
  • DO NOT try to break or shake the ice from the branches, this can make them weaker!

Most importantly, focus on keeping your family and friends safe during this season. Keep candles, blankets, and non-perishable food around. Check on your elderly neighbors and family members. Help out with the clean up for families that can’t do it themselves. You can always replace trees – you can’t replace people.

Header Photo Courtesy of Imtiaz Ahmed on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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