High winds and pounding rain are not a good combination for trees. Storms expose any weakness in a tree. Trees that haven’t been professionally pruned can catch the wind like a sail and topple. Cracks open wide to split trees. Dead limbs snap and weak roots give way.
Homeowners can prevent storm damage by taking the following actions:
1. Start with a professional tree inspection: Spotting problems early is the main purpose of the inspection. Your Arborist will be looking for cracks, decay, excessive deadwood, structural defects and other problems that may require action.
2. Check tree roots for health problems: Look for warning signs such as mushrooms growing out of the root system, decayed roots or raised ground around the tree’s trunk. These signs often signal fungus diseases, root rot or soil compaction. Your Arborist may recommend fertilizing the tree in the Fall with a time release formula that stimulates root growth.
3. Install Cables or Bolts: Trees with multiple trunks or weakly attached limbs are prime targets for splitting. Cables or bolts should be installed to secure the limb or trunks. It’s essential that your Arborist chooses the right hardware and uses it in the right way to successfully brace the tree.
4. Have your trees professionally pruned: Pruning reduces the risk of storm damage from breakage and uprooted trees. Your professional Arborist should remove dead, rotted and weakly attached limbs. He should also thin the crown to reduce strain from wind and top heavy limbs.
5. Select Trees That Can Stand Up To Storms: Trees with genetically weak crotches like Bradford Pear, Ash and Mulberry are more likely to sustain damage in a storm. Trees that are known to be more storm resistant include Holly, White Oak, Bald Cypress and Linden.