June 17th, 2019

trees on seventhTrees along Seventh and Sherman sag, crack and break in January 2017 during an ice storm that hit Liberal. L&T file photo/Heather WattELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


With winter fully upon the area, it is important for people to take care of some maintenance around their homes, with one of those chores including making sure the home’s trees and shrubbery are being taken care of. 

“It’s important because there are always breaks from the summer from winds and other storms and also diseases since insects are more active in the summer and winter is a good time to get those things cleaned up,” DV Enterprises Owner Vicky Brunkhardt said. “Trees can really be trimmed any time of the year but we like to do it in the winter because you can see into the tree easier and get further into it and check for any issues. Spring is also a really good time because that’s when the tree’s pulling all its carbohydrates in and that’s what sustains the tree in the wintertime. It’s best to get it trimmed between January and March before the leaves come in because then you’re not sacrificing that nourishment the tree needs.”

“In general, winter’s a time when trees and shrubs and everything are dormant so it’s a good time to take a look at everything,” Terrazas Lawn Care and Tree Service Owner Brandyn Terrazas added. “You can do a lot of the needed pruning without actually harming the trees and it’s a good time to get a really good look at it and see if there are any diseases or anything. Another reason it’s good to do it in the winter is if you can identify the dead branches better because in the spring is when the leaves are coming out and it’s somewhat harder to see that stuff when it’s being covered up by leaves. Another reason is it’s also easier to see the overall structure of the tree in the winter and see if there’s anything overgrown. And it’s just overall good to keep up with that maintenance and be sure to have everything trimmed every other year or so if you want to keep your tree healthy and growing correctly. And especially since there’s a lot of wind in this area, it’s good to make sure everything grows the way it should and be sure the branches are strong.”

And it is not just the greenery itself that needs to be looked out for, both Terrazas and Brunkhardt said, but also any people in that area. 

“Every situation is different, obviously, but a big thing is power lines and if they’re in the way, we make sure to not get anything tangled in them and we always make sure we’re mindful of those and make sure everything’s being done correctly,” Terrazas said. “The biggest thing in this area is trees can start reaching over homes, so there’s that risk there and we have to be meticulous about what we bring down and make sure we trim enough to where there’s no risk to the house.”

“The winter is the best time for us to see what’s going on with the tree and it’s easier for us to see the dead or diseased areas that need to come off and then we can get rid of it so it doesn’t just break off and cause damage to a person or that person’s home,” Brunkhardt said. “Tree trimming is not just going in and hacking off limbs, there’s a lot we have to look for and a lot of things we have to take into account like the health of the tree and potential bad angles and the overall symmetry of the tree.”

Both Brunkhardt and Terrazas also talked about the customers they work with in the wintertime. 

“We work really hard this time of the year on the trees we take care of since it is easier for us to look at, but we’re really pretty consistently busy all year round, it’s a pretty even stream,” Brunkhardt said. “What would really bring a large influx of calls would be if a bad storm comes through. Overall trees need to be trimmed at least every year to every other year to make sure everything is the way it should be and winter snow or ice storms can cause trees to break and die so much more quickly if they’re not taken care of.”

“We do have a handful of customers who call us to make sure their stuff’s trimmed up properly and taken care of, but there’s a lot of calls we get where there’s already a somewhat emergency situation and they ask what can be done,” Terrazas said. “When a big storm comes through that can rip branches off and cause other bad damage to the tree and with the amount of wind we get in the Southwest Kansas area, if there’s too much weight on a branch, it’s more likely to fall off and potentially cause damage to either someone or a house.”

Overall, both agreed, winter is a good time to make sure maintenance to trees and shrubs has been done. 

“It has to fit in the budget, first off, and a lot of times that’s a bit of an issue. When a tree is little and just planted it doesn’t take a lot of work but the bigger it gets, the more money it takes to care of, almost like a human,” Brunkhardt said. “You have to nourish the tree properly and take care of it for it to have a long life, and that includes getting it trimmed. If you put a little care into it at a time on a frequent basis, it will cost much less in the long run. For example, if there’s a great big oak tree that hasn’t really been taken care of save for the occasional brach being cut off, that could cost about hypothetically $800 to get everything trimmed up at once as opposed to spending only about $100 every year to every other year. It’s like a haircut, you have to go and get it trimmed up for it to look good and stay healthy. Be careful about who you hire to do your tree trimming and make sure they have all the insurance paperwork and their license paperwork from the city and make sure they know what they’ll be doing and be sure they do the work you actually need done.”

“Tree trimming can become expensive, but if you either own a home or have a rental, it’s good to make sure it gets taken care of for the sake of the safety of the people and your property, so make that investment because that tree’s going to be there for a long time,” Terrazas said. “And everyone saw after that last big ice storm how damaged the trees could get so if a tree gets trimmed correctly, that damage will be greatly minimized as opposed to if you don’t keep up with that maintenance. If anyone is interested in my business and what we do, they can contact me at 575-574-2908 and we’ll get something set up.”

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