tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

How to Assess & Repair Damage to Your Trees After a Storm

Wesley Perry

If a storm damages the trees in your yard, you'll need to assess the situation as soon as it's safe. Damaged trees can pose an ongoing danger to your house, cars, or other property. If your mature trees have extensive damage, or if they are tangled in power lines, you may not be able to do repairs yourself, but you can identify the trees you need to isolate and avoid.

You might want to do some of the tree care yourself, especially if you have to wait a long time for professional help because a lot of trees in your neighborhood are damaged. Here are some things you can do.

Assess the Damage

The first step is to examine the trees for broken branches, cracked bark, uprooting, leaning, and split trunks. Identify the ones that need professional care. This includes mature trees that are leaning so far the soil has lifted on one side. This indicates the roots may have snapped and are no longer holding the tree in place. A professional will also need to tend to trees with large limbs that are broken, trunks that are split, and trees that are in contact with power lines.

Next you have to figure out which trees need emergency care. This would be the trees that hang over your house or street, because if they topple they could hurt someone or destroy property. Also look for large branches that are broken, but still hanging in the tree. The branch may be supported by the other branches now, but it could break loose and fall on someone at any time. Call an arborist to care for trees that need it right away. Trees that have extensive damage, but are located in a remote area of your property can wait to be cut down once the community emergency is over.

Trim Broken Branches

If your trees don't have major problems, you may be able to take care of the smaller broken branches yourself. It's important to cut off the broken branches so the cuts are clean. Stripped bark and a large wound makes your tree vulnerable to disease. Cut the branches off near the trunk or near a joint. The main goal after a storm is to cut the branches to protect the health of the tree. You may need to wait for the next growing season to try and groom the tree for the sake of appearance.

Cut Away Loose Bark

If the bark was pulled away from your tree, you should trim it away with a knife. Be careful not to pull any healthy bark away with it. Loose bark needs to be removed so it doesn't trap moisture and provide a home for insects. If your tree has lost a lot of bark on the trunk, or if the lost section circles around the tree, you should call an arborist like Done-Rite Tree Company Inc. to take a look. Bark damage can affect the health of your tree, so you'll want to monitor your tree until the would heals.

Reposition Small Trees

Your young trees may be completely toppled in high winds since their roots are not firmly planted in the ground. If a tree is small enough for you to handle, you can probably reposition the tree and anchor it into place so the roots will take hold again.

Mature trees that lean are a more serious matter, and even if you could reposition a mature tree, the roots may not take hold again. That's because the weight of the tree can snap the roots as it topples over. You'll need to call a professional to assess the safety and health of a mature tree that seems to be leaning.

Fortunately, extensive tree damage doesn't happen too often. Your tree may lose small branches every storm season, but the huge storms that cause a lot of destruction only occur occasionally. You can take comfort in the fact that your mature trees have survived many decades of storms, and they will probably survive many more.


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tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Do you love the trees on your property? Are some of the trees looking as if they are not as healthy as they once were? Do the smaller trees get enough sun to grow tall? Sometimes, trees can develop diseases or become infested with insects that can cause them to die. If you catch these diseases and infestations early, you can oftentimes save the tree, or the surrounding trees. To learn what to look for on your trees, visit my website. There, you will find a long list of diseases and the symptoms to watch for to protect your trees from destruction.