The Houston area has been experiencing Arctic blasts that bring the region below-freezing temperatures, high winds and icy weather. Although the ice accumulations are not heavy and the cold weather does not stay long, their impact on our local trees, gardens and plants can be significant. To ensure the health and vitality of residential properties, it is important to have Certified Arborists and Landscape Professionals evaluate trees, landscape gardens and turf to assess damage.
Homeowners might be asking themselves, “How does icy weather impact trees, landscapes and gardens?” The answer is that icy weather can cause structural damage to trees, death to plants and gardens, and can lead to breakage with sprinkler systems. By understanding the impact icy weather can have on plants, trees and gardens, homeowners can be better prepared for any future icy weather and protect the health, beauty and value of their outdoor assets.
Trees can be negatively impacted by even just a small amount of ice accumulation on leaves and branches. Ice can increase the weight of tree limbs and branches by up to 30%, leading to breaks that can harm the tree’s long-term health and overall property value. Falling or drooping tree branches can also create costly and dangerous situations, such as injuring people or damaging power lines or utility poles. Even if ice does not lead to fallen branches, it can weaken tree limbs and decrease the tree’s stability over time, leading to more serious issues later.
Landscape gardens and plants can also be harmed by even a light, short-lived ice accumulation. Plants and gardens subjected to icy weather, especially with rapid temperature fluctuations, can be damaged or even killed. When the water within the plant cells freezes and then melts in a rapid amount of time, the expansion of water can kill plant cells, resulting in additional costs to the property owner for removing and replacing the damaged plants. Although some property owners protect vulnerable plants and young trees with blankets or plastic coverings, not everyone knows to do this or has the opportunity to take such precautions.
Finally, icy weather can cause significant damage to irrigation systems on residential properties. When water is trapped in sprinkler heads, the freezing temperatures cause the water to expand, creating cracks in the sprinkler heads. Icy weather can also cause cracks in the water supply lines, leading to flooding and unnecessary water usage and runoff. Additionally, nozzles on irrigation systems can also rupture due to water expansion in freezing temperatures, causing an improper spraying field during future uses.
To check the health and stability of your property after the recent icy weather, contact the Landscape Professionals and Certified Arborists of Embark Services. Embark Services offers residential property owners throughout the greater Houston area a full range of tree maintenance services, including tree trimming, tree evaluations, cabling and bracing of weakened trees, tree removal, tree planting, fertilization, and tree disease and insect treatments. Embark Services’s team of tree care experts perform all projects utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, industry-leading safety techniques, and exceptional customer service. Contact Embark Services today for more information, or go online to request a free consultation.