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Trees are just about completely bare and winter will soon set in. Now that most trees have lost their leaves, it’s an excellent time to assess the safety and condition of your trees. Winter is the ideal time to prune most tree varieties. The tree is not as vulnerable to disease and insects when pruned during the dormant season. Deadwood in a tree is a natural and common occurrence, but the dead branches should be removed. Removing these branches ensures the tree puts all its’ energy towards living growth and prevents damage and injury when the deadwood falls from the tree.

There are a few methods for detecting deadwood in a tree, during the winter. Look for branches in a tree that have held their leaves, after all the other leaves have dropped. Dead branches will not drop their leaves, often holding on to them for months into the winter. Be aware that there are some tree varieties that keep their leaves longer into the dormant season and it is not a sign of deadwood. This includes Oak, Beech and sapling trees. Smooth wood or an area lacking bark is also an indication of deadwood. Bark naturally falls off of a tree, but on healthy wood this is replaced by new layers of bark. Similar to how people shed old skin layers, but replace the old with new skin. When a branch has died, new bark is not generated. Instead, the old bark falls off and exposes the smooth tree layers underneath. If you’re still unsure the branch is dead, scrape the wood lightly. If the exposed layer is green, the branch is still living. If it’s brown, the branch is dead. This is true in every season of the year. Once the deadwood has been identified, pruning it out of the tree is the next step. Follow pruning practices that ensure the tree will heal properly. Click here for more information on properly pruning a tree. 

In large, mature trees deadwood may be located high in the tree. It can be a dangerous undertaking for many homeowners to remove this deadwood. KTS offers the skills of trained professionals that will prune and remove deadwood using the most accurate equipment and tools needed to perform the job. In addition, KTS offers a discount on tree pruning work performed in the dormant season. Click here for more information on the conditions of this offer.

Call KTS for more information on locating deadwood in a tree or to have a Certified Arborist visit and assess your trees. A Certified Arborist is trained to identify problems and solutions for your trees.

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