After experiencing a significant storm, homeowners are often quick to clean up the fallen branches and the mess made by high winds, hail, and rain. However, hasty decisions can often result in removing trees or over-pruning branches that do not need to be touched. How can you make sure that you keep your healthy trees safe, and mend your trees carefully after storm damage? Read on to find out how to repair a tree damaged by a strong summer storm.
Don’t Tackle Every Task Yourself
If significantly large tree limbs are broken or hanging from the tree, and climbing or chainsaw work is required, you should contact a professional. Scientific Plant Service can recommend partner companies that have the skills to remove large tree limbs while keeping everyone safe and preventing further damage.
Take Safety Precautions
After severe storm damage, it can be difficult to tell which branches are hanging on and which are sturdy. As you evaluate your trees, be on the alert for branches that look unstable. Additionally, if you are near any power lines, keep an eye out for any downed wires or branches tangled in cables. Branches caught in power lines can transmit electricity through the branches. Do not attempt to remove or cut any branches touching power lines. A phone call to your local power company may be prudent to evaluate any limbs in close proximity to power lines.
Remove Broken Branches
One important task to undertake after a storm is to remove the jagged remains of smaller tree branches that were broken during a storm. Pruning back these branches can minimize the risk of decay agents entering the tree’s wound. Small branches should be pruned at the point where they join larger ones just outside of the “collar”, and large broken branches should be cut back to the trunk or main limb by a professional arborist.
Repair Torn Tree Bark
To improve your tree’s appearance and eliminate hiding spaces for insects, you can use a chisel or sharp knife to smooth any ragged edges of tree wounds where the bark has been torn away. Do not expose more of the greenish inner bark, or cambium, than is necessary as this layer contains vital food and water lifelines for the tree.
Do Not Over Prune
If your tree looks imperfect, that is okay. Don’t over prune in an attempt to “fix” the tree’s appearance, as you may end up damaging your tree even more. While your tree with its damaged branches removed may look odd, you will be surprised at how fast a tree can heal. During the next growing season, your tree will begin to grow new foliage and return to its natural beauty.
Don’t Top Your Tree
If you are concerned about future storm damage to your tree, you may be tempted to cut back branches to avoid breakage. However, “topping,” or cutting main branches back to stubs can seriously harm your tree. Stubs often grow back weakly-attached branches that are more likely to break during a storm. Additionally, a tree needs all of its resources to recover from storm damage, and topping the tree reduces the foliage on which the tree depends for nourishment.
If your tree suffers severe storm damage, consult a professional for the best advice on how to repair your tree. Once broken branches and bark are carefully removed, you can enjoy watching your tree mend itself naturally.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!