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Winter Storm Damages Trees in Panhandle

Winter Storm Damages Trees in Panhandle
Courtesy Photo

Trees throughout the Panhandle most certainly suffered some impact as the winter storm swept across the Nebraska Panhandle on March 13-15, bringing with it rapidly changing conditions with freezing rain, close to a foot of snow and heavy moisture.

As the wind blew out of the Northeast, the snow began to accumulate on the trunks and branches of trees. In particular, the evergreens with more surface area collected more of this heavy,
wet snow. Many of these trees experienced twisting, bending, and broken branches. Field observations across Morrill, Neb. revealed most of the trees showing damage on the northeast side. This is important to earmark for tree health and safety.

Some of the damage is not easily seen from the ground, or else may be internal. It will not be evident until later in the year during further storms or when tree tissues can no longer hold together. This can be a big hazard for homes and properties. It is best to contact a certified
arborist to have trees examined. Be proactive in mitigating any potential damage partially broken limbs could cause later on down the road.

During the upcoming growing season, it will be important to keep an eye on the health of trees. Watch for discoloring as they go through the heat of the summer and into the fall. Some damages may not even appear until next year. Anyone who notices a pattern of decline only on the northeast side of a tree can certainly consider the potential damage from the storm.

For more information,  contact the Nebraska Forest Service at trees@unl.edu.

Visit the website for more details on the impact of snow and ice loading on trees:
https://nfs.unl.edu/snow-ice-damage-trees

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