Tree Trimming Tips After A Storm (Continued)
based on your observations your best interest may be served by calling a professional.
Keep in mind that the branch you are after is broken, so there could be hidden breakage you can’t see, so do not place yourself in harms way regarding a broken limb.
Look around to locate power lines or service lines. Broken limbs can get hung up on a line and energize other items they come in contact with. Do not let children or pets go exploring in wind damaged areas where they could touch something that is accidentally energized.
Conditions change - where there is one broken branch there may be others that break and fall into something else when you are not looking. So, something that appeared safe today may change by tomorrow. So, be aware and continue to assess on-going damage and conditions. Remember, the branches always look smaller from the ground!
Can you reach the broken limb(s) safely without being under the broken limbs at any time during the process of reaching the damaged area or doing the trimming?
Assess how much foliage is on the broken limb. Keep in mind that trees limbs are flexible and the more small twigs on the end of a branch, the more springy it is if it falls to the ground. Branches can bounce in unexpected ways, causing damage to vehicles, homes and even causing serious personal injury.
Determine that it is safe to access and remove all twigs and smaller branches before dropping a larger limb.
NEVER attempt trimming near energized lines. Call your local electric company and stay away.
Trees and large limbs on roofs or leaning against structures have a propensity for rolling -especially after you have liberated most of the limbs if you are doing work yourself. Do not be caught unaware with a rolling tree.
Is your tree moving? Take note of the angle between the ground and your tree. If that angle changes, you may have a tree that is moving. This is a serious and dangerous situation and warrants a call to a tree professional. If you are unsure, take a series of pictures and compare them from time to time to see if you witness movement in the angle of the tree.
Note any bulge in the turf surrounding a tree. This would indicate a root structure that is pulling out of the ground and a tree that could fall at any moment. Depending on the size and location of the tree this warrants an emergency. Take immediate measures to insure the safety of others. Do not attempt to correct this problem by yourself. Too many things can go wrong. Contact a tree professional immediately.
Flooded areas soften the ground around trees, so take care when you are under or around trees in flooded areas, both when there is active flooding and for some time after waters recede.
WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS
Most people would prefer to save their damaged trees but determining
when a tree is too damaged or dangerous to keep is key.
Factors to consider when determining if a tree is worth saving are:
Species - this will determine how well it recovers from certain conditions
Age - is it young, mature, overly mature, dying
Adds Value - does the tree still add value even if partially damaged,
is it in a prominent part of the yard
Sentimental Value - is the tree a living monument
Cost of repair vs cost to remove - these costs can go either way. Sometimes it is only a little bit more to remove a tree and replant, especially if the tree is aging and would eventually become worrisome and sometimes it’s only a little bit more to keep it and trim it up for longevity.
Peace of mind - only you know whether a tree that towers over your home gives you pause and concern or not.
We once had a customer call to remove a very tall, mature tree before ice season. Apparently, the tree had dropped large branches in three different years, each time the branch bounced and totaled a vehicle in his driveway. The final blow was the year he heard an ice storm was coming and moved his truck to the curb. Sure enough an icy branch broke off, catapulted into the air and speared his truck! That was the final blow and the tree had to go!
An arborist can help you determine if a tree can be saved or if it is worth being saved. Not only can they help you assess your options but they can perform specific trimming methods to help your tree withstand storms and grow strong and healthy. If a tree needs to be removed, don’t delay. A dying tree or hazard tree should be taken seriously to avoid damage to property or personal injury.