With Heavy snow on the forecast it is a good time to talk about the dramatic affect of loaded snow on trees. The weight of a cubic foot of snow varies anywhere from 7 lbs to 20 lbs depending on the type of snow whether it be light and fluffy or a heavy wet snow. This means that with a snow loaded tree it can add significant weight to its canopy and limbs and can potentially cause the tree to fall due to the added weight as shown in the image to the left.
The trees that are most likely to fail under snow load are Dead trees and Evergreen trees such as Pine, Spruce, and Hemlock. The larger a tree is the more susceptible it is to fail when loaded with snow.
However, all trees can fail under the right conditions. (The tree shown above is an oak tree.)
What can Be done to Prevent this?
Removal of hazardous trees close to your property is the single best way of preventing trees from falling on your premises especially trees that are leaning, evergreen, or dead as stated above.
Removal of trees may not be what is wanted however since trees add beauty and value to your property. This is where selective pruning is recommended to remove high stressed limbs. Pruning your trees is good for your tree no matter what season it is. Not only will it reduce the weight of the snow loaded limbs on a tree during the winter but it also will reduce the wind load on a tree during spring and summer when storms have the greatest impact.
Here at R. L. Elliott Enterprise we have Certified Arborists on staff that can evaluate and make proper recommendations to sustain the life of your trees. We are a 24/7 emergency response tree care business serving Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas. During an emergency we can be reached either through our Contact Us page or by calling us at (804) 550-1760 and pressing 1 for emergencies.