Back in 2011, Penny wrote an article for the Back Bay Sun about caring for the trees damaged in a blizzard. Today we ask that those of you responsible for the beautiful magnolias and other lush trees around the city prevent this from happening again.
Currently the magnolias along Commonwealth Avenue, for example, are lush, full, and offer lovely shade. We enjoy walking under their protection on hot summer days. However many of them the are very much in need of pruning before the next round of winter or early spring storms.
Broken magnolia after a blizzard in 2011.
Back in 2011, arborist Bobby Loree of Boston Tree Company reassured homeowners saying, “The first thing is don’t panic. It may look awful, but magnolias are resilient and grow fast. Many of the magnolias that got broken up badly in the April Fools day storm of about a dozen years ago recovered nicely though they looked hopeless at the time.”
The Trees Have Recovered
And now they need pruning for a few reasons. Trees with dense foliage and branches are more likely to be damaged in hurricanes and northeasters because they resist the wind rather the letting it pass through.
The weight of heavy snow that collects on branches can cause breakage even when the foliage is not out. Should it be a spring storm when the trees are in leaf, it can be much worse. A good pruning can make a world of difference in the outcome.
As a courtesy to pedestrians, trees should be trimmed high enough above the sidewalk so that people can pass under them even when rain and snow lower the branches. Right now you have to be well under 6 foot to walk under some of these trees.
Call a Pro
Take a few minutes to examine your tree canopy. How dense is it? Are there branches rubbing on one another that might cause damage in a wind storm? Would a heavy snow be caught up in your tree with branches breaking from the weight? If so, it's time to call an arborist to evaluate and perhaps prune your trees.
As Boston’s Tree Warden Greg Mosman said back in 2011, “Trees should be cared for by professionals and proper pruning can reduce damage in extreme weather conditions, though no amount of pruning can totally prevent damage.” He advised, "Pruning should be done by a certified arborist."