By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s nice to finally see some blooms on the trees, but before everything leafs out, go check on your trees or have someone do it for you.

After a winter like we had, you might think that any branch that was going to fall, already did. But branches that broke in the ice storm or dropped under the weight of successive snows were only the most obvious injuries. As I’ve been out on walks and in the garden lately, I’ve seen many more cracked branches; some high up in trees, others at eye level, like on my poor dogwoods.

When trees leaf out, not only will the damage be harder to see, the branches will also be heavier from all those leaves. The leaves act like a sail in the wind, making cracked branches even more vulnerable during gusty thunderstorms.

So, go take a look at your smaller trees and prune what you can safely reach from the ground then, borrow binoculars to peer into tall trees while they’re bare, and call in an arborist to have damaged or dangling branches properly pruned before the lushness of all those fresh leaves disguises the danger.

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