Who remembers the Ice Storm that hit the GTA in December 2013? Trees down everywhere, power out for days, traffic delays, walking hazards! Good times, right? Maybe not so much. Especially for the trees.
The City of Toronto estimated that approximately 20% of the urban canopy cover over the city was lost as a result of the ice storm. Comparable percentages were reported by other GTA municipalities. Many trees were lost immediately, and many more were so damaged they required removal in the aftermath of the storm. The good news is that trees have experienced ice storms before, and that continuing to survive after such a weather event is in their DNA. But trees damaged by the ice storm may need a little assistance in the form of assessment and pruning.
It has been over two years since the storm hit, and in that time trees have been responding by replacing lost canopy as quickly as possible. The replacement process tends to include an excessive amount of sprouting from wound sites. People who own Siberian elm and silver maple trees will know exactly what this looks like. However, the recovery process also imposes great energy costs on affected trees as limited resources are diverted to growing rather than to other important functions such as closing wounds and resisting pest invasions. In other words, during the recovery process your trees may be more vulnerable to opportunistic insects and diseases.
Ontree recommends that you have any damaged trees inspected by a certified arborist. Ontree’s arborists will be able to assist you in formulating a recovery program for your tree. In addition to possible pruning needs to remove or repair deadwood, stubs, hanging or cracked limbs, and excessive sprouts, your tree may benefit from such cultural practices as fertilizing, aerating or mulching. Controlling insects or diseases may also be needed.
If your tree was damaged by the Ice Storm of 2013, or indeed by any weather event, call Ontree and have an assessment done by one of our certified arborists.