4 Tips to Prevent Your Evergreens From Splitting This Winter


Split evergreen trees and shrubs are a bane of many winter landscapes If you experience this on your property, the issue is likely a combination of poor pruning practices, snow and ice load, and wind. The following tips can help you prevent further splitting this winter.

Tip #1: Skip the Flat Top

A flat top on your evergreen shrubs and hedges may look nice in the warm season, but can lead to trouble come winter. Ice and snow will accumulate on top of the shrub. When the weight becomes to much, the shrub may split apart. At best this is unattractive, while the worst case scenario means the evergreen must be removed. To avoid this, follow the natural form of the specific evergreen variety. Open varieties can be pruned with a more rounded top, while evergreens that naturally develop a pyramidal form should be pruned to a cone shape.

Tip #2: Shape Properly

Weakness can also occur from lack of sunlight or moisture in the lower branches. If your evergreen is pruned with straight sides, or worse, sides that taper inward towards the base, the top of the shrub or tree gets all the light energy and much of the falling moisture while the bottom gets nothing. The result can be a top heavy tree that is more prone to splitting or even toppling over. Instead, prune so that the bottom is at least slightly wider than the top. This is easy to do with cone shaped trees, but it can also be done with rounded top shrubs.

Tip #3: Provide Some Support

Evergreen branches tend to bend upward. When snow accumulates on the branches, they droop slightly before they spring back up and send the snow flying. This works great to shed excess snow weight, but nature has one weak spot—when the snow freezes into hard ice, the branches may loose their spring and weight will accumulate. Eventually, the weight can cause branches to break. You can tie up the branches before winter to prevent this from occurring.

Tip #4: Avoid Desiccation

Weak trees are more prone to splitting, and desiccation will weaken your evergreens. Evergreens are only semi-dormant in the winter. If you have extended periods above freezing and with little moisture, water the trees lightly. Further, avoid pruning the trees extensively in late fall because cold wind can whip moisture right out of recent pruning scars, further causing the tree to dry out and weaken. If your evergreens are exposed to a lot of cold winds, erect a burlap windscreen or wrap the trees loosely in burlap to protect them.

For more information to avoid splitting in evergreen trees and shrubs, consider consulting tree trimming services for more help.


14 December 2019

reducing the threat of standing trees around your home

I love and appreciate all of the trees around my home, but I do worry about what will happen during a strong storm. Will I get rudely awakened by by a tree crashing through the roof into my bedroom? Will a tree fall and take down the power lines that my family relies on each day to live our comfortable life? This blog will show you what you need to know before you go cutting down all of the trees on your property to maintain a safe living space and advice for picking and choosing the trees that will remain.