Arborists Albuquerque, Tree Care

Winter Tree Damage: A Complete Guide

tree in winter

Winter is the most brutal season, notorious for its damage to vehicles, homes, and pets. Yet there’s one thing that you might forget about this winter: your trees.

Just like your dog or your children, trees are susceptible to damage from winter’s extreme weather conditions. But how do you know if your tree is suffering winter damage? And what can you do to prevent it?

Here’s what to look out for.

Temperature fluctuations

Trees can be harmed if the weather abruptly turns cold before trees have had time to acclimate to the gradual temperature shift of late autumn.

Low Temperatures

If a tree is not hardy enough for a cold climate can quickly become stressed when winter strikes.


Long cracks or splits might form in the bark of the tree during a sudden, unexpected frost.

Spring Freezes

Once a tree begins putting out its spring blossoms, a late spring freeze can destroy new tissue growth.

Breakage From Snow and Ice

Typical snowfall will not hurt your trees. But beware of thick, heavy snow that can cause branches to break.

Damage From Animals

Mice and rabbits are likely to feed on the bark of the trees in winter when food is scarce. Beware of this, especially during times of prolonged snow cover.

Browning Evergreen Needles

Evergreen needles may dry out during the winter due to a lack of water and salt damage. You can prevent this by watering the trees and mulching them thoroughly.

Root Damage

A new or shallowly rooted tree can be susceptible to root damage. Soil can expand and contract during freezes and thaws, exposing the roots to the elements.

How To Prevent Winter Tree Damage

There are several steps you can take to prevent damage during the winter. For one thing, choose trees and plants that are hardy enough for your climate. Avoid pruning or fertilizing your trees late in the summer. And always mulch your trees to protect the soil and the roots from extreme temperatures.

Winter is a tough time for everyone, your trees included. But a little care and attention can go a long way towards keeping your trees safe in extreme winter weather.

Legacy Tree Company is a tree service company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is raising the standard for innovative, ethical tree care. Its mission is to sustain the Albuquerque urban forest for generations with services like emergency tree services, tree trimming & pruning, tree & stump removal, tree bracing & cabling, tree planting, consultations, and tree irrigation. Click here to contact us via our online form, or give us a call at (505) 312-8865.

Legacy Tree Company
100 El Pueblo Rd NW Unit A
Albuquerque, NM
(505) 312-8865