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Trees Face Many Winter-related Problems

Living in Wichita, KS means coping with lots of seasonal change. In the winter, temperatures often drop into the 20s, and we receive several inches of snowfall. Snow and cold weather can cause various issues. Knowing the signs of certain winter-related problems and their causes can help you get them addressed as soon as possible so that your trees remain healthy year-round.

Trunk Cracks

A tree’s trunk serves as its support system, and it also transports water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. If the trunk isn’t in good condition, the tree can’t stay healthy, so it’s important to watch out for trunk issues. When the colder weather strikes, ice and frost can cause cracks in the tree’s trunk. These cracks are known as shakes. Shakes happen when water gets underneath the bark and causes it to expand.

You’ll see these cracks most commonly on the west and the south sides of your trees where they are most exposed to the sun. Oak trees are particularly vulnerable to trunk cracks. Cracks in a tree’s trunk can cause instability and lead to long-term issues. Trees that are well cared for and properly trimmed and pruned are better able to deal with the effects of shakes.


Winterburn is a form of sun damage that affects evergreen trees. It occurs when a tree or shrub loses more water than it can take in. Your trees might have winterburn if you see brown and yellow tips rather than green on the ends of their needles. Even mild winter sun and wind can lead to dry conditions and cause this problem.

Winterburn is most common in trees that have poorly developed root systems. Warm fall temperatures that delay plant dormancy can also contribute to this issue. If your trees have winterburn, our team can help restore their health with proper pruning and fertilizing.

Salt Damage

When ice and snow show up, it’s imperative to remove them as soon as possible in order to keep people safe. While salt is a useful thing to keep on hand, it also poses potential dangers for your trees. Your trees may be particularly susceptible to salt damage if your soil does not have enough drainage.

To help protect your Wichita, KS trees this winter from salt damage, you’ll want to make sure your soil is properly aerated. You can also rinse off trees exposed to salt or even wrap trees and shrubs that are vulnerable to salt spray from the roadway.

Animal Issues

Many types of animals make their home in the Wichita, KS area. When the harsh winter weather arrives, they look for places to shelter from the snow and ice. Trees provide this shelter. While it is natural for animals to seek help from trees, their doing so can cause problems with your trees.

Squirrels can gnaw at the tree’s bark. Mice can cause girdling damage to the tree’s base. Other animals like deer may chew on various parts of the trees. Trees can withstand most of this damage, but you may want to take extra measures to protect your trees if you deal with a lot of animal-related issues.

The colder weather can lead to many problems with your trees. Contact our experts at Complete Tree Service for additional help keeping your trees in perfect condition all winter long.

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