Storm Damaged Trees – Steps to Take After the Storm Hits

By August 20, 2019 Tree Services

If a storm has made its way through your community, assessing the damage to your property is a must. However, you could be putting yourself in even more danger if not done safely. No matter what amount of tree damage has occurred, it can feel overwhelming. Here’s what you should do after a storm has caused damage.

Step 1. Look for Hazards Before Doing Any Tree Removal

Damaged trees can often be tangled in downed utility wires. Under no circumstances should you touch or go near them! If there isn’t any immediate danger from electrical lines, the first thing you need to do is make sure there are no potential safety hazards.

  • Have electrical lines expertly handled
    • Treat all electrical wires as if they are live
    • Contact your electricity provider to have an expert assess the potential danger and remove them safely
  • Protect your home and family from danger
    • Have a certified arborist remove trees or limbs that have fallen on your house or are blocking access
    • Look for hanging limbs that could fall on your home or family

Step 2. Assess the Damage

The damage to a tree is often minor with only the smallest branches injured. With the help of a certified arborist, take your time to decide which trees you can save or should remove. Factor in the tree’s age, species, location, and sentimental value. Just know that sometimes a tree cannot be saved, or just isn’t worth it.

  • Trees you can save
    • Trees with more than 50% of the crown in tact
    • Trees that will be attractive and of value after being repaired
  • Trees that should be removed
    • Diseased trees
    • Trees with a split trunk
    • Trees tipped by wind
      • They typically suffered from root breakage or poor development before the storm and usually don’t survive well

Step 3. Have a Tree Removal Service Handle the Cleanup

After a storm, it is common for non-certified people to knock on your door offering tree cleanup services. They are notorious for recommending tree topping, an unhealthy tree-trimming practice. The knowledgeable arborists at Omni Tree Service can help you.

  • Major tree repair and cleanup should be done by professional arborists
  • You can clean up small-sized tree debris on the ground
  • Never top or severely prune storm damaged trees, this will make them more susceptible to damage in future storms

Step 4. Prevent Future Tree Damage

You can reduce your risk of damage from future storms by planning ahead. Getting the help of a certified arborist is the best way to protect against potential storm damage.

  • Prune early
    • Regularly trim dead or weakened limbs, especially when the tree is young
  • Prune properly
    • Do not cut branches back to stubs
  • Encourage good branch angles 
    • When a tree’s branches grow too closely together, neither has enough space to add the wood needed for strength so removing one of the two branches when the tree is young can prevent issues later on
  • Try to avoid trees that commonly cause damage in storms, like:
    • Cottonwood
    • Leyland Cypress
    • Silver Maple
    • Bradford Pear
    • Empress Tree

For more information, read our blog “How to Prepare Trees for Tornadoes and Storms.”

Contact Us for Emergency Tree Removal and Other Storm Damaged Tree Services

Our certified arborists will inspect your storm-damaged trees and help make the best choices when it comes to tree removal, cleanup, and prevention. Contact Omni Tree Service to schedule your appointment or call us at 636-324-2101!