Trees Down! Now What?

So your trees suffered damage in a snow storm, and things are looking rough. Whether trees were in full leaf and held the heavy wet snow to the point of breaking, or evergreens bent and snapped under the load, or the snow was simply too much weight to bear, even on dormant deciduous woody plants, snow can be a heart (and branch) breaker. So now what to do?

Safety first! Make sure to avoid large trees that may still have compromised limbs. Do not park your vehicle under tree canopies. Do not try to free or shake trees touching power lines. Alert the utility company and stay away.

Stay alert while driving. The City of Fort Collins Streets Department and Forestry crews are working diligently to clear roads and trails.

If you haven’t already, remove snow from your trees by gently shaking tree limbs with a broom or other implement. Be careful with young trees because this sometimes can do harm to their delicate bark and limbs.

Clean up begins. Make friends with your neighbor with a chainsaw. Maybe pool your resources to rent a wood chipper and make mulch.

We highly recommend hiring a professional arborist to prune large trees. It’s safer and healthier for the tree. Please call us for referrals for some of the best tree care companies in your area: 970-482-1984

Smaller jobs can be done once the storm clears, but remember to follow the best pruning practices (this article focuses on fruit trees, but the pruning practices describes are applicable to virtually all woody plants). Ragged edges are an invitation for diseases and insects to take hold.

Branches can be broken down and hauled to Hageman’s Earth Cycle, who accepts yard waste for a small fee. The Larimer County Landfill also has a designated area for yard waste. 

Or, you could always keep it for the fireplace… chopping wood is great exercise!

Originally published on October 26th, 2011. Updated on March 9th, 2021.