Wintertime poses some unique challenges for trees. Wood freezes, loses its flexibility and becomes brittle. These days, we seem to see snow mixed with ice more often than in the past. Ice, especially, will weigh a tree’s branches down, sometimes to the breaking point. Pine branches, in particular, are susceptible to breaking under heavy ice and snow. Murphy’s Law says that any pine branch that hangs over the roof of a house has a much higher likelihood of snapping under heavy ice and falling than a tree branch in the forest. Double topped trees are also at risk during the winter as water that has collected in the void between the tree trunks freezes and expands, splitting the tree, little by little, down the middle until one side breaks and falls. If you have any doubt about your trees’ ability to survive the winter safely, you might contact a competent arborist and ask for a safety inspection. There’s no time like the present.