tree broken by snow (46964 bytes)

Trees Broken by Snow Can Be Saved

By Carl Wilson, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Horticulture

The tops of many evergreen trees were broken by the weight of snow in our recent storm. Assuming you can reach the damaged area, first saw out the jagged portion of the breakage, at an angle to shed water.

Pick a promising side branch below that area and tie it into an upright/vertical position, using the "stub" below your saw cut as a support. Use cloth or linen strops, not twine or rope. Make sure that the tip of the "new leader" is above and higher than other remaining branches.

After a few months in this position, the new leader should remain upright and cloth ties can be removed.

Cut off the "stub" at an angle just above the new leader origin. Although there will be a slight dogleg in the new leader, it will become less obvious over time as the new leader expands in diameter.

The new leader will provide dominance so that the conical shape typical of most evergreens is retained.

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010