Trees can stand tall and proud for decades or more, but they are not invincible. Fungi, pests, and storms all damage trees, sometimes to the point that they fall. When a tree falls near your home or a power line, problems arise. Luckily, you can take steps to minimize the damage to your property by taking care of your trees during a storm.
Support Healthy Young Trees
The best defense is a good offense. When dealing with the young trees on your property, your choices and actions can influence the likelihood of storm damage for years to come.
If you have the chance to plant a new tree on your property, choose one that is well-suited to the environment. The amount of rain you receive, your soil type, and your average daily temperatures influence a new tree’s health. If you do not choose a species adapted to your conditions, it will be weaker and more susceptible to damage as it ages.
When you have chosen a new tree, do not plant it close to a power line or your home. Even the healthiest trees can break given a sufficiently powerful storm, so it is best to avoid the possibility of the tree falling on anything essential. We also recommend avoiding planting a new tree too close to your driveway or a sidewalk, as the roots may cause the concrete to buckle.
While helpful if you are planting a new tree, the above advice is not useful if you are worried about trees that already exist on your property. If your existing trees are young, your best course of action is to have them pruned, so they grow in a structurally sound shape. For most trees, that means one central trunk. The best form for a tree does depend on its species, though, so consult an expert.
Keep Older Trees in Good Condition
If a tree falls in a forest, it is an opportunity. The gap a fallen tree creates in the canopy allows sunlight to reach the forest floor, and new saplings will take advantage of their chance to grow unhindered. Eventually, one will replace the old or unhealthy tree that fell, and the cycle will continue.
If a tree falls in your yard, it’s an expensive, potentially dangerous inconvenience. It is crucial to avoid fallen trees whenever possible. Regular maintenance and careful monitoring is the best way to protect your property while keeping your trees healthy.
Every few years, we recommend having a trained arborist come out to your property to inspect your trees. An arborist will be able to identify branches, fungi, and insects that might cause issues later on. Ideally, he or she will be able to treat or monitor the problem. In some cases, though, the safest option may be to remove the affected tree. While not an ideal outcome, removing a tree may prevent the issue from spreading to other trees on your property and causing further damage.
Inspections are of particular importance for tree species prone to specific pests. Ash trees, for example, are plagued by the invasive emerald ash borer. First discovered in Detroit in 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees and threatens many more. Most pests are not dangerous to the same extreme, but even the slightest weakness could mean the difference between a tree withstanding a storm or succumbing to it.
Don’t Take Risks
Trees provide shade, reduce energy costs, are aesthetically pleasing, and even increase your property value. They are still not worth risking your health or safety.
Ways to keep yourself safe during and after a storm:
- Follow official guidelines for evacuating or taking shelter.
- Avoid downed power lines.
- Never climb a ladder with a chainsaw.
- If you are cutting a loose branch, consider where it will land when it comes down, as it could seriously injure someone if it hits them.
- Do not try to move large branches or trees by yourself.
Ways to keep your property safe during and after a storm:
- Clean your gutters regularly. Leaf matter can build up, leading to leaks and water damage.
- Do not park your car beneath a tree if you have other options.
- After a large wind or ice storm, have your trees inspected for new damage.
- Ask for help, either from friends, neighbors, or experts if you need it. Trying to work alone may cause more problems than it solves.
Contact a Professional
The smartest move you can make to take care of your trees is contacting a professional tree care service. Before a storm, these experts can ensure your trees are in the best condition possible. After a storm, they can help clean up your property quickly and safely, which minimizes the risk of further property damage or harm to anyone in the area.
If you are located around Kensington, MD, contact Mulheron Tree Experts for all of your day-to-day tree maintenance needs or emergency services.