Tree Storm Damage Checklist – Assessment and Solution

Tree storm damage is a common result of winter weather. Wind, snow, and ice all take their toll, causing everything from frost cracks to limbs broken under the weight of snow and ice. Severe winter weather with high winds such as a Nor’easter can uproot a tree and take it down completely. A homeowner’s first concern is whether or not the damaged tree poses a threat or has caused damage to their home. Once that has been addressed, it’s time to decide if the tree can be saved or if tree removal is necessary. Here is a checklist to help with the assessment. Keep in mind, anything beyond minor tree storm damage should be dealt with by a professional tree service.

Make Initial Observations

Start the assessment of the tree storm damage by cautiously examining the area where the damage occurred. If any wires were taken down as a result of the damage, stay away from the area and call 911. Avoid any hanging branches or those under tension. These circumstances require professional assistance. If neither of these issues exists, it is safe to continue assessing the damage. 

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Overall Health

Outside of the storm damage, if the tree is otherwise healthy and strong, tree removal may not be necessary. With a little TLC, a healthy tree that has sustained minor damage can heal and thrive. Consult with a tree storm damage professional on what steps to take to preserve the tree.

Broken Branches

While small branches are typically no big deal when it comes to tree storm damage, major branches are. The bigger the broken branches are, the harder it will be for the tree to recover. If the tree has lost most of the main branches, it will most likely not survive. For some types of trees, the leader branch is important for upward growth and appearance. While a tree can survive without this upward leading branch, the loss of it typically results in stunting or deformity.

Crown of the Tree 

The crown is the top part of the tree. Its branches grow out from the main trunk and support the various leaves used for photosynthesis. If these branches are severely damaged or completely lost, the tree may not be able to produce enough nutrients to survive another season. 

Wound Recovery

Smaller wounds from tree storm damage can heal in time. Larger wounds are less likely to heal, leaving the tree vulnerable to disease and insects. Smaller wounds about 2 to 3 inches on a tree with a 12-inch diameter will seal in a couple of years. Larger wounds have a lower chance of healing and are susceptible to insect infestation and disease.

Filling in the Gaps

The branches that weren’t damaged will grow vigorously in an effort to replace the lost foliage. Check to see if the remaining branches are placed where they can eventually fill out the tree and restore its appearance. If not, the tree may always have bare spots or look lopsided.

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Tree Storm Damage Solutions

The evaluation of these various types of damage will guide you in making a decision about whether to keep or remove the damaged tree. If only minor damage was sustained, you can prune the broken branches and smooth the rough edges around any wounds. This will allow the tree to begin the healing process.

If the damage is a bit more significant but the tree is strong, you may want to prune branches, address any wounds and give it some time before making a final decision. However, if there is significant tree storm damage such as a missing crown, major wounds, or a lost leader branch that will keep the tree from surviving, it’s best to have it removed before it dies. A dead tree will attract insects and create a safety hazard. Storm-damaged tree removal should be done by professionals.

Boulder Hill Tree Service

Boulder Hill Tree Service can handle all types of tree removal. We started as a full service, residential tree removal, and tree care company but have since grown and expanded into a diversified contractor. In addition to our storm damage tree removal services, we also offer pruning, land clearing, and normal tree removal services. 

We proudly serve a wide range of residential, commercial, and municipal/governmental customers as well as schools, universities, golf courses, and real estate developers. Contact us for a free estimate today!


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