5 Things to Know When Storms Damage Your Trees

By Ben Tresselt

  1. Don’t think do-it-yourself first.

    Three points here. First, that chainsaw you got three years ago for Father’s Day? Great for cutting firewood on the weekends. But it takes skill, experience and expertise to safely tackle storm damage cleanup. There are unseen forces within storm-damaged limbs and wood that when improperly released can cause serious injury. Second, wood chippers are great at chipping brush, wood and (unfortunately) you. They don’t know or care what kind of “limbs” they chip. Third, being off the ground with a running chainsaw, whether on a ladder, roof, or rental man lift, exponentially increases your risk of serious personal injury.

  2. Just because you pay them doesn’t mean they’re tree care professionals.

    When damaging storms hit, suddenly everyone is in the tree service business. So be wary of door-knockers. If they’re cheap, there’s a reason. Even someone who is familiar because they work in your neighborhood may not be the right choice. Landscapers and lawn mowers, for example, are generally not qualified to address serious tree damage issues, even if they do have a chainsaw, a truck and a chipper. Seek out and hire professionals with TCIA Accreditation, ISA Certified Arborist credentials, and favorable reviews on unbiased sites such as Angie’s List. Hire a reputable company with the expertise, insurance coverage and training to tackle storm damage cleanup and repair in a safe, legal and professional manner.

  3. Realize that grounds cleanup isn’t the end.

    The lawn is clear and the debris has been disposed of, but that doesn’t mean your trees are good to go. When a storm rips limbs from a tree, the result is large, damaging wounds. These wounds require proper pruning for the tree to recover. Neglected storm-damaged stubs or improperly pruned stubs invite complications including, insects, disease and rot. Proper pruning allows the tree to naturally and efficiently defend itself from storm damage and adjust to its new growing conditions.

  4. Be Patient.

    Reputable, qualified tree care professionals are good at what they do and therefore in constant demand. When damaging storms occur, they are very busy addressing the areas of greatest damage first. Please be patient with them as they work hard so they can get to your property. You will not be disappointed with the eventual outcome.

  5. Plan Ahead.

    Now that you’ve seen what can happen to your trees as a result of severe weather conditions, make plans to minimize damage from future storms. Have all your trees inspected by a reputable and qualified tree care professional. An arborist will be able to determine what can be done now to prevent weather-caused damage. Proper pruning, cabling bracing, fertilization and even complete removal may be recommended to help insure that you, your property and your trees are well prepared for the next round of severe weather.

When storms attack, contact us immediately and we will be happy to help.


Thank you so much for taking such care with my birch tree – the pruning looks great. Thanks too for taking such good care of my neighbor’s property while completing the work!

Jeanette H., Lancaster


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