Winter Storm Yoshi was Connecticut’s first ice storm of 2019. Unfortunately, not all of Connecticut’s trees fared well. Trees fell on power lines and homes, wreaking havoc throughout the state and causing injury to Connecticut residents.
Freezing Rain or Sleet?
Living in Connecticut, we are all accustomed to winter weather. However, it’s not usually the snow that causes the most danger in the winter months – it’s the ice.
Freezing rain and sleet are two terms we often hear in weather forecasts, but do you know the difference? They both occur when liquid raindrops fall into a layer of freezing air. However, while sleet freezes before reaching the ground, freezing rain freezes on contact with the surface, thereby creating a layer of ice on whatever it contacts.
Ice Storms and Tree Damage
Winter Storm Yoshi brought its fair share of snow, sleet, and freezing rain to Connecticut. Roads, homes, and tree branches all quickly became coated with a thick layer of ice. While the ice-coated tree branches may make the state look like a picturesque winter wonderland, residents suffering from property damage or personal injury are all too aware of how dangerous trees coated in ice can be.
The weight of a tree branch can increase by more than 30 times with the accumulation of ice. Even larger limbs become susceptible to breakage after 1/2 inch of ice accumulation. While New England trees are adapted to winter weather conditions, some trees fare better than others.
One trait that increases storm vulnerability of a tree is the presence of ‘included bark’. Included bark is in-grown bark that occurs at branch junctures. Many trees fail at this juncture when subject to the weight of ice. For example, the ‘Bradford’ callery pear tree has branches that commonly break where there is included bark at the branch juncture. On the other hand, the ‘Aristocrat’ callery pear does not regularly form included bark patterns and is damaged less during storms.
Prevent Damage with Proper Maintenance
No matter the type of tree or its inherit susceptibility to storm damage, proper tree care throughout the year can prevent damage when a storm hits. If a tree is damaged, decayed or is suffering from weak or severed roots, it is particularly vulnerable to breakage.
Pruning trees regularly makes them more resistant to ice storms. Licensed arborists remove weak branches during the tree trimming process. Additionally, arborists can install cables and braces for additional stabilization of susceptible trees. As the old Benjamin Franklin saying goes – an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Whether you’ve already suffered damage from Winter Storm Yoshi, or you’re looking to prevent future damage, Eric’s Tree Service can help. Call or text us today at (860) 798-5672 for 24/7 Emergency Tree Service or to schedule your free consultation in preparation for the next winter weather event.
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