Storms can leave even the most pristine landscape in disarray; uprooted trees, broken branches, and stray debris are common post-storm eyesores. To prevent this, evaluate your landscape for potential hazards. Even innocuous tree limbs can prove dangerous in bad weather, so be thorough in your assessment.
If your trees exhibit the following warning signs, they may be at risk:
- Wires in contact with tree branches are dangerous. Trees may become energized when they are contacted by electric wires.
- Dead or partially attached limbs hung up in the higher branches can fall and cause damage or injury.
- Cracked stems and split branches can cause catastrophic tree failure.
- Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs, or mushrooms growing from the bark indicate a decayed and weakened trunk.
- Peeling bark or gaping wounds in the trunk also indicate structural weakness.
- Fallen or uprooted trees exert pressure on other trees beneath them.
- Heaving soil at the tree base is a potential indicator of an unsound root system.
Remember: A tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability change over time. Don’t assume a tree that has survived ten severe storms will necessarily survive an eleventh! Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the safety of your trees and property.
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare your trees for a storm, you’ll still find it necessary to clean up debris afterward. As a proud homeowner, you may be tempted to perform the clean-up work yourself – but this can be a dangerous undertaking. In many cases, homeowners should seek professional help, especially if the clean-up job requires the use of a chain saw or other dangerous tools.
But even this seemingly droll task comes with its own set of risks. Beware of common clean-up hazards, listed below:
- Overhead or nearby electrical wires create potential hazards and limit the options for tree cutting. Homeowners should never work near power lines.
- Most chain saw work on large limbs or trees requires the experience of a trained operator to prevent injuries. Wood under tension (one or both ends of the fallen tree or branch pinned under other branches or debris) can react unpredictably. Releasing that tension with chain saw cuts is extremely dangerous and can seriously, or fatally, harm the chain saw operator.
- Uprooted root plates or root balls are unstable. Cutting the trunk of a fallen tree from an uprooted plate releases the pressure holding the root plate. The roots are still anchored and may have enough tension to pull the stump and root ball back into the hole. It could suddenly sit back into the root hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.
- Slopes and uneven footing surfaces are dangerous while operating a chain saw.
- Watch the end of your chain saw! Cutting branches on the ground can cause you to bury the saw bar in the dirt and hit hidden obstacles, causing chain saw kickback.
- Many homeowners injured doing their own tree work were working alone at the time, significantly lengthening emergency response time and hospital stays. If you insist on doing your own post-storm cleanup, always have at least one other person working with you to call for help in case of injury.
But remember: Homeowners should never attempt post-storm tree work if it appears dangerous! It is always safer to hire a professional arborist or tree care company to take care of the post-storm work for you.
16 thoughts on “Storm Damage”
Thanks for going over these warning signs that my trees could potentially pose a risk when there’s a storm. Knowing to trim away any wires that are in contact with my branches and to check for cracked stems and split branches can help to make my trees less of a hazard during a storm. This will be good to know now that I’ve learned a thing or two about how to prepare them for upcoming storms from this article, http://www.allabouttreeservices.com.au/services/tree-felling. I think that the information in this article about cleaning up any debris in my yard after a storm, and consulting arborists about whether a tree needs to be removed or trimmed is really helpful to know so that I can prepare them for storms this year.
Great article. Glad I stumbled across it. I do not think that I could have said things any better. Unfortunately too many of my customers come to be after the storm for Emergency Tree Service. It is unfortunate more people do not realize that they could have prevented serious property damage if they had just called us sooner and been proactive instead of reactive about tree service. Thanks again for a great article.
Excellent article. Your tip, “Fallen or uprooted trees exert pressure on other trees beneath them”, is golden! Latent danger is everywhere after a storm moves through that has caused damage. I really wish more people could realise this. Thanks.
I’m in Fl we just had a little tropical storm roll through here. I was surprised at how many trees were actually up rooted and how many tree limbs were strewn about.
This is some really good information about storm damage. It does seem like a good idea to have a professional help you take care of your trees before something bad happens. I particularly like what you said about getting rid of dead tree limbs.
Thanks for this! As a tree owner, it is you responsibility to ensure your trees do not pose a risk to electrical lines or structures in the event of a storm. Too many people simply don’t take this responsibility seriously and are dumbfounded when a natural disaster does strike at the expense and inconvenience of their city and neighbors.
Wow, I love your post today! This in just the perfect time. Thanks a bunch!
In Arizona we have severe Monsoon storms! Our shallow rooting desert trees require extra maintenance and pruning to ensure that they don’t topple over. I thought maybe I would share this article about storm damage prevention in case it is helpful to your readers.
Good article. Some of my customers would benefit from reading it.
“A tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability change over time” so important to remember.
I enjoy reading all your articles.
I found some great tree care tips here. All the tree owners should be careful about their trees and consequences after storm damage. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you so much for sharing an amazing post. Sometimes we need to hire professional tree service provider for doing it perfectly. All the tips are very effective, and I came to learn a lot of things. Keep up the excellent work.
Great article, i agree, tree damage can cause a lot of wear & tear tor your driveway its so important to keep to your home fresh by repairing and resurfacing them to keep that new home feel! Check them out in bergen county Driveway resurface, Teaneck
I’m glad I found an article about tree care tips! Appreciate this!
Great article! Glad that I’ve found this, very interesting and lots of info gained, good work!