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Why and How to Inspect Your Trees for Storm Damage

You never know how well your tree will weather a storm. Snow, wind, and rain can result in catastrophic conditions for your tree, no matter how well it’s been taken care of previously. Tree damage can be anything from a few branches falling to the ground to trees falling over and even taking down power lines. Because of the randomness of storms and their impact, it’s best to know how to inspect your trees if it’s possible storm damage has occurred.

There are a few things you can do to inspect and repair your own trees, but it’s good to know your limits. Professional arborists at Mr. Tree are able to complete the work you may not have the tools, machinery, or knowledge to handle yourself. Still, knowing how and why you should take a second look at tree storm damage can help to save both you and your property from further damage. Here are a few tips to help you tackle tree damage.

Keep Safety in Mind

A tree that has taken on storm damage can result in a dangerous situation for your property, but your safety should be the biggest priority. Storm-damaged trees are more likely to experience falling branches, collapses, and uprooting, which makes dealing with them all the more serious. Before you begin to inspect your trees up close, you should perform a visual inspection from a safe distance. You should also consider wearing some form of head protection, in the case a damaged branch were to fall. It’s good to know your limits, and anything you don’t feel comfortable doing can be done by your local professional arborist.

Inspect the Crown

The crown of the tree consists of the leaves and branches, and these are often the first sign that your tree has sustained storm damage. Broken or cracked branches are highly susceptible to falling, which can cause further damage to your property or anyone who is walking around the tree. When inspecting your tree, you should start with the crown and look for branches that have been affected by the storm.

Broken branches that are still partially attached to the tree should be pruned back to avoid further damage. Pruning them eliminates the risk of them falling, but it can also eliminate the risk of infection or disease to the healthy portion of the tree. These cuts should be made precisely, at an angle and with a sanitized tool that won’t leave an open wound. Cutting in the wrong way could leave your tree open to disease or make the cut an enticing area for insects to move in and cause an infestation. To ensure it’s being pruned correctly, enlist the help of professional arborists.

Inspect the Trunk

The trunk of the tree should be the next area you inspect. Though the damage they sustain may not be as obvious as with the tree’s branches, significant damage can still occur to the trunk. Snowstorms, for instance, can create an excess of weight for the tree to bear, making any weak spots weaker and causing cracking.

A crack in your tree trunk should be taken seriously, as it can be a sign that it’s at risk of collapsing. Look for cracks that extend for more than a few inches or that appear on two sides of the tree. You should also look for cracking that occurs next to a decaying or damaged area of the trunk, as that’s a weak spot and will increase the severity of a crack. A cracking trunk could lead to the tree collapsing sooner than later and should be addressed with urgency.

Inspect the Roots

The roots are the last thing that should be inspected after storm damage, as they’re responsible for the structural stability of the tree. Look for exposed roots, uprooted roots, or soil heaving when inspecting for root damage. Issues with the roots after a storm can leave your tree unbalanced and leaning, making falling a more legitimate risk.

Having a tree fall over completely is one of many dangerous risks associated with tree storm damage, and if you notice a tree at risk, you should contact your local professional arborists as soon as possible. Falling trees can cause injury, damage to your property, or damage to your neighbor’s property.

Take a Closer Look

After you’ve completed a visual inspection of your tree, you can now assess what work you’re able to complete. If there are no immediate signs of danger, you can go ahead and clean up branches that have fallen to the ground or complete light pruning if you have the proper tools to do so without causing damage. Keep in mind that pruning is an art form, and cutting too much won’t save your tree from sustaining storm damage in the future. It can actually produce the opposite effect and can cause further damage or even kill the tree. Again, it’s a good idea to wear some form of head protection when entering an area that has sustained storm damage.

Enlist the Help of Professionals

It’s a good thing to know your limits when it comes to tree storm damage repairs. Doing repairs correctly often requires the use of ladders, safety gear, and specific tools. For this reason, you shouldn’t fall victim to having a stranger with a chainsaw complete the work you’re unable to. It takes a lot more than just a chainsaw to do this kind of work safely and in a way that doesn’t leave your tree in worse shape than before.

The correct equipment paired with the experience that professional arborists have makes them the perfect people to ensure your tree repairs are done correctly and safely. Mr. Tree can provide a proper inspection for your tree and complete any tasks needed to get your tree back to healthy conditions. We can also let you know when your tree is beyond repair and should be removed. With the right equipment to both remove your tree and the unsightly stump it leaves behind, Mr. Tree can assist you if your tree is unable to be repaired after a storm.