Winter weather impacts trees, shrubs

Winter cold affects trees and shrubs_32007

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The cold, snow and ice is taking a toll on trees and shrubs and the properties around them.

“The ice and snow buildup on the limbs themselves, always a chance for breaking,” said Dan Yoho of the Davey Tree Expert Co. in Kent.

Yoho suggests brushing off shrubs and small trees, but leave the bigger trees to the experts.

“Have somebody that is trained to be able to climb the trees, properly tie themselves in, work over the house, work safely and comfortably so that nobody gets hurt,” Yoho said.

The bare limbs make it easier to see which ones are dead, as well as any disease the tree may have developed.

“Some trees, like oak trees, this is the time to prune them. There is a disease called oak wilt that affects those trees,” Yoho said.

He said to find out whether tree limbs are alive or dead, do this simple test: If it bends, it is good. If it breaks, it is bad.

“Sometimes on a smaller plant you can touch and feel. If the limbs bend easily, then they are still alive. If they snap, of course, you have pruned them,” Yoho said.

Meanwhile, local farmers are watching their peach trees. The crop was lost last year in Ohio because of the bitter cold.

“Most fruit crops are fine with temperatures below zero. Peaches are not,” David Hull of White House Fruit Farm in Canfield said. “Winter cold is typically only an issue with peach trees. Apple and blueberries can take a lot colder winter temperatures than peaches can.”

Hull is keeping an eye on their roughly 1,200 peach trees on 4 acres.

‘Most likely, there will not be any peaches in areas of the midwest that have experienced negative 10, 12 and certainly negative 15,” Hull said.This is a case where history repeats itself.

“The 1970s is a good example where it was common to lose peaches because the winters were so cold,” Hull said.

But there is good news as Hull expects White House and other fruit farms to still have peaches for sale.

“Last year, southern Pennsylvania and Virginia did a very nice job of providing peaches for the midwest and assuming that they have escaped temperatures like this, that the same thing will happen this year,” Hull said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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