It’s after Mother’s Day and your newly planted garden and/or trees should be safe, right? Seems like Mother Nature may have other ideas with a wintry mix of precipitation and chilly temperatures on their way.

Our Forestry team has some tips for being prepared for the late season weather.

  • Check for hazards. Before approaching a tree, examine your surroundings to avoid contacting downed utility lines or standing under broken, hanging branches. Contact your utility company if a tree is affecting power or other utility lines.
  • Small trees are most vulnerable. Your newly planted trees may bend or break with the weight of snow or ice. Give them a gentle shake to get frozen precipitation off.
  • Contact the city, if necessary. Trees between the street and a city sidewalk may be the responsibility of city crews. Let the city know about issues with them via Inquire Boulder.
  • Assess the damage. If a tree is healthy overall and still possesses its leader (the main upward branch), most of its major limbs, and 50 percent or more of its crown, the chance is good for a complete recovery.
  • Remove broken branches. This minimizes the risk of decay, insects or diseases entering the wound. Prune at the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and be mindful of potential pent-up energy if the branch is twisted or bent. Learn more about pruning techniques.
  • Don’t over-prune. With the loss of some branches, a tree may look unbalanced, but most trees quickly grow new foliage that hides bare areas.
  • Don’t try to do it all yourself. If the job requires running a chainsaw overhead, sawing from a ladder, or removing large branches or entire trees, contact an insured, certified arborist.
  • Compost downed limbs. Place bundled branches no more than 6 feet long and 3 inches in diameter into or next to curbside compost bins. You can also take broken branches from your property, to Western Disposal at 5880 Butte Mill Rd. Check out our Forestry FAQs for more information about fallen limbs.

For more information about the city’s snow and ice program, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit the city’s webpage.

Young tree