Warm winter could cause trouble for Minnesota trees

Mild winter spells possible tree trouble in Minnesota

Mild winter spells possible tree trouble in Minnesota

It’s starting to feel and look more like spring than winter in Minnesota as the run of usually warm temperatures continues.

While it certainly feels nice, it’s hitting many winter businesses hard and experts also note it could have a negative impact on some of the state’s trees.

“This is just unprecedented,” Majestic Landcare owner Matthew Ohrt said.

While snow removal had Ohrt’s business busy last year, this year it’s the trees. The early lack of snow and ice was perfect for getting ahead on tree work, with the ground still solid enough to run machinery on yards. However, the past few weeks have even halted that.

“Now you’re going to end up leaving big ruts in the lawns, causing turf damage and basically creating more work in the spring to have to go back and remedy,” Ohrt said.

But that’s not the biggest concern.

“With trees budding out in the winter months, and maybe going back to cold conditions here, we could see those trees really face some issues,” he added.

Officials say the lack of cold also makes it that much easier for emerald ash borer to spread.

Ohrt noted he’s seeing more dead or dying ash trees this year and a cold snap could help slow that.

“It’s anyone’s guess what to expect next. That makes it tough to plan and keep a schedule with our crews,” he said.

Time is now of the essence, as a lack of cold temps may not prevent budding soon enough for many trees, which could lead to bigger problems later on.