In the event of a severe storm, trees are often the biggest casualties. Heavy rain and strong wind can really take its toll on your trees, and they face a number of risks during bad weather – such as loosened soil causing uprooting, or branches breaking and falling. Lightning strikes can also cause major damage, sometimes felling trees completely. Safe tree removal after storm damage must be implemented.
While the storm is in progress, there is very little you can do. However, once the weather system passes, it is time to start cleaning up. Depending on the severity of the damage to your trees, you might be able to do the job yourself, or you may need to call in a specialist arborist. This guide should help you assess your needs.
Dangers of storm damage to trees
Even a modest wind can cause damage to a tree, if that tree is already weakened or improperly balanced. Branches often bend and snap during storms, and either hang loosely from the tree or fall to the ground. The storm can also upset any resident wildlife, bringing them down to the ground where they could pose a threat.
There are environmental hazards to watch for, as well. Bees, snakes and other tree dwellers may take offence to any unexpected falls – or to any subsequent tree work! Storms can also strip and expose electrical wires, break glass windows, and release toxic asbestos. There are lots of reasons why storm clean-up is riskier than standard tree care.
The most significant hazard with any tree is the chance it will fall. A toppling tree can cause vast and expensive damage to property, vehicles and land. It can also cause serious and even fatal injuries. Preventing trees falling is the number one aim of storm preventive tree care maintenance, so don’t skip your regular visits from a tree surgeon. Frequent maintenance, including strategic tree lopping, can help a tree withstand any storm.
DIY or tree expert? Dealing with storm damage
After the storm, work should begin on repairing or removing trees and branches. In the event that just a few branches have fallen, you can safely and easily clear away the debris yourself. You may wish to call in an arborist for an inspection anyway, just to check that your trees are still structurally sound.
If the damage is more serious, you need professional help right away. Attempting tree lopping with a ladder and chainsaw is extremely dangerous: trained arborists have the right equipment to do the job safely. If the tree cannot be saved, you need a team trained in tree removals to take it away safely. Tree removals could also be considered as a preventative measure, if you live in an area prone to storms and have weakened trees on your land.