Most property damage during a storm occurs when limbs or trees fall. High winds and saturated soil conditions can cause a tree's roots to fail and its branches to weaken. During winter, the weight of ice and snow can be equally damaging causing branches to break or entire tree failure. None of which is an easy experience for a homeowner. This is why it is recommended to have a Certified Arborist or Tree Risk Assessment Qualified person identify potentially hazardous conditions and help reduce the risk of damage before bad weather occurs.
Hazards are not always obvious to the untrained eye. While it is impossible to guarantee protection of your trees and property from severe storms, a Certified Arborist knows what issues to look for to try to prevent tree failure.
Based on what is found, appropriate treatment would help trees to better endure bad weather.
Never utilize the services of a company that proposes topping as a solution. Topping leads to other problems later in the tree's life and is a prohibited industry standard.
Additionally, climbing spikes should never be worn when performing maintenance to a tree as they create wounds that can lead to insect and disease infestations.
Be wary of a tree service that recommends removal of a tree without reason. Trees provide beauty and add value to a property so removal should only be done where there are high-risk conditions that cannot be effectively mitigated.
Whenever a severe storm hits be sure to have a Certified Arborist assess your property for any issues resulting from the weather, even if you routinely care for your trees.
Once the storm has passed and damage has been done, call an expert to provide emergency services including removing trees from houses, clearing roads and driveways, and pruning or removing trees that could lead to personal injury or further property damage.
Once emergency services are complete, crews can begin the process of clean up and repairing any storm damaged plants. Even if there is no obvious damage, it is important to have your trees and plants inspected by a Certified Arborist. They may detect symptoms and conditions that could pose a problem later.
Treatment recommendations will depend on the type and extent of damage. When pruning is recommended to restructure the crown (Crown Restoration) the plant will often require a series of pruning over a period of years to restore the desired form and a strong structure.
Trees that are leaning following a storm could indicate significant root damage. Small plants could be successfully straightened with proper procedures, but larger trees could be at risk of failure. These would require a thorough evaluation to determine whether removal or treatment if needed.