The continual winter storms have made it tough for some people to get out and take care of trees that were damaged in the ice storms in early December. Mark Vitosh, a forester with the Department of Natural Resources, says you don’t have to brave the elements to work on downed limbs.

Depending on the species of tree, you don’t have to work on trees right away as he says broken limbs can be taken care of any time during the winter. If you have oak trees however, he says you should remove the stubs before the end of February.

Oak trees need protection from potential disease. He says you don’t want fresh wounds in the springtime because of oak wilt. Vitosh says many tree crews have been busy, so you don’t have to rush to get the work done, you can wait awhile.

If you do get out, Vitosh has some tips, for example you need to prune back broken branches to the branch collar near the trunk, so the trees can heal on their own. He says properly taking care of trees prevents disease later on.

Vitosh says correctly pruned trees will heal on their own and that will keep out decay and disease.