Caring for Storm-Damaged Trees

Charlotte Miller

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Trees are no doubt an essential feature of your yard. Besides making your home look more appealing, they add value to your property by a significant percent. They are valuable investments that will only continue to shower you with great benefits as they mature over time. The money and effort you spend on them far outweighs their worth, whether environmentally or monetarily.  Simply, you cannot put a tag price on your trees, and it is vital to give them the ample care they deserve as essential investments you have, especially when a storm hits. 

Damages caused by high winds and storms can endanger a tree’s health. While most homeowners’ first impulse following a storm is to clean up its remains, decisions made haphazardly can often result in eliminating a tree that could have recovered. 

In the aftermath of a major storm, it is crucial to do the right things to give your storm-damaged tree a chance to survive from nature’s effect. When your tree, unfortunately, gets hit by a storm, it is essential to follow the following guidelines to remedy the damage it caused. 

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Ask help: Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the work. If the tree has massive branches and limbs or the work requires an overhead chainsaw effort, leave it to the professionals. They will know the proper technique to remove the dangerous branches safely. 

Safety first: Be on the look for downed power lines or in close contact with the tree after a storm. Do not try to perform the task on your own as it can be too risky and should be managed by a professional technician only. Be careful not to get under hanging broken limbs or those stuck in other branches. Unless you are sure with your chainsaw-handling ability, leave it to the experts. 

Eliminate damaged branches still attached to the tree: A homeowner can generally handle removing the remains of small broken branches. If done correctly, it will reduce the risk of decay in the future. Be careful to make a clean cut to prevent disease or future damage. Let a certified arborist eliminate larger branches for safety. 

Repair torn bark: Use a sharp knife to smoothen our a torn bark. It will improve the tree’s appearance and prevent insects and pests from hiding in this area. Make sure to perform the task as carefully as possible to avoid exposing the tree’s greenish inner bark, where the tree’s food is stored. 

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Don’t over prune or top: After removing the problem branches, don’t worry if the tree’s appearance is not as pristine as you wish it would be. In your attempt to make the tree appear symmetrical, you may commit the mistake of over-pruning the tree. It will not be long until leaves and branches grow back and restore the structure and balance of your tree. 

Don’t take the bad advice of removing healthy limbs or topping the tree to prevent future storm damage. It is a misguided principle that will only lead to the tree’s decline. New growth from topping is more susceptible to the storm’s effect. This technique also eliminates healthy leaves that are responsible for producing nutrients. Only if everything else fails, you can consider buying some new trees.

Trees need to be maintained and inspected to prevent getting impacted by the storm. However, if they get damaged, they should be assessed by a certified arborist that can diagnose their condition and provide the first aid they need to recover. 

Contact Pro Tree Service, 2909 S Alaska St, Tacoma, WA 98409, (253) 234-9114, for more information