How to help a tree damaged by snow #780657

Asked January 23, 2022, 8:30 AM EST

Greetings! I have a 12' Eastern Red Cedar that had a "V" in the main stem at about the 5' elevation. When we got that big snow last Monday, the west side of the "V" broke off. I am attaching photos. The heartwood is exposed. So, can it be saved? What should I do to save it? Should I make the exposed area flat and then coat it with paint or tar? The other main stem is intact - at least for now. Maybe it will split off in a big wind. What is the best thing I can do to help this tree survive and thrive? Your guidance is greatly appreciated!

Sussex County Delaware

Expert Response

Hi.  Thank you for your question.  Since evergreens (Thuja, juniper, cedars, arborvitae) that break apart in ice storms will not usually recover, they should be removed.

 My recommendation would be to remove the tree.  The area damaged doesn't look like it would  allow you to trim it so water would not collect in the area where the branches used to meet.

Here are two fact sheets that would help you with your decision -

Always consider safety in your decision to keep a tree.  If you replace it, here is a nice tree manual with great information -    Evergreen pruning calendar -

 You can always ask a certified arborist to take a look.

Best regards,


Tracy Wootten Replied January 25, 2022, 9:24 PM EST
Tracy, thank you very much for replying, and for sending the tree owner's manual and pruning guide.  I really appreciate the resources.  I agree with your assessment and will remove the tree.  
Have a wonderful week!
James Reed
11492 Abbys Way
Bridgeville, DE  19933
(302) 604-1327

On Tue, Jan 25, 2022 at 9:24 PM Ask Extension <> wrote:
James Reed Replied January 26, 2022, 6:51 AM EST

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