How to Handle Storm-Damaged Trees

    After a storm, it’s important to know how to handle severe tree damage. Homeowners should avoid making hurried decisions that can result in unnecessary tree cutting in Monroe or even removing trees that could have been saved. It would be a shame to lose a tree if it can somehow be rescued by simple tree service. Taking the time to assess the damage can give a tree a chance to survive as opposed to possibly losing it. Tree care experts that offer affordable tree service in Monroe urge property owners to follow a few simple rules after a damaging storm.


    Evaluate Damage

    If you're not confident in your skills, call a professional. Limbs that appear dead or broken should be removed as soon as possible since they can pose a danger. However, if large limbs are broken and require climbing to reach, then a professional should do the work. Exposed roots that have been lifted out usually means the tree could pose a risk and may have to be removed. Seek the assessment of a professional to determine the action to be taken.


    Take Precautions

    Stay away from downed power, cable, or telephone lines as well as hazardous branches that look like they're going to fall. Fence wires can also become charged when electrical lines have fallen nearby. Be careful of any tree that’s in contact with both a power line and the ground since these trees can transmit electrical current and cause injury or death.


    Remove Any Broken Branches

    Branches bent from heavy snow or from ice will not straighten themselves out and should be removed. Clean pruning cuts and collar cuts should be made in order to avoid making wounds that will be slow to heal and cause disease. Prune any smaller branches at the point where they join larger ones. A professional arborist should cut back any large branches to the trunk or to a main limb.


    Don't Top Trees

    Avoid cutting primary branches back to stubs. It’s one of the worst things you can do to your trees, as most any professional will tell you. Trees need all their resources to recover from the stress of storm damage. Topping, as it’s called, will severely reduce the amount of leaves on which the tree depends for food and sustenance. A topped tree after storm damage will seldom repair itself and is more likely to die instead.  At best, its recovery will be severely limited.


    Wait to Fertilize

    Following a storm, the best treatment for a damaged tree is to do nothing. Allow the shoots to grow until it they regain their original crown and then prune inconsistent branches. Fertilizer will not help trees recover any faster, and it’s almost always best to wait to fertilize until the following season unless you know that your tree is lacking in a specific nutrient.


    Watch for Door-Knockers

    Uncertified tree workers will descend upon storm-damaged areas with their pick-up trucks and saws. Their workers may not be insured and subsequently you may be left picking up the bill if your home or your neighbor’s home is damaged in the process. Reputable tree service companies rarely solicit business door-to-door. 


    Consider Wildlife

    Finally, don’t forget that birds and other creatures may have taken up temporary shelter during the storm, so always proceed with caution so as not to injure those creatures that have done so.