Storm Aftermath: Is My Tree Safe?

Tree Fell On House

Already this summer Northern Virginia, DC, and parts of Maryland have been hit hard by numerous storms which resulted in damages to homes, cars, people, and their trees.

Storms cause tremendous stress and severe damage to trees in the urban forest. Obviously, a snapped or downed tree should be removed. What about a tree that suffers minor damage? How can a homeowner tell if a tree is safe?


Look For Safety Warning Signs:

  • Wires in contact with tree branches
  • Partially attached limbs hung up in the higher branches that could fall
  • Branches that point down or in the opposite direction of growth
  • Cracked stems
  • Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs
  • Mushrooms rowing on bark (indicate decayed and weakened stem)
  • Heaving soil at the base (indicator of unsound root system)
  • Look for these signs in your neighbor’s trees that are close to your property as well

If you see any of these warning signs book a consultation with a certified arborist immediately! Your tree could be a risk to the safety of you, your family, and your property.

Assessing The Damage: 

Tree on House

  • Minor Damage: Smallest branches of the tree being injured-usually results in little or no permanent injury. Just cleanup broken twigs and branches. Perhaps a crown cleaning to restore a pleasing shape.
  • Major Damage: Large broken branches, split crotches, removal of bark/splitting of trunk, trees and branches fallen on property.

Is Your Tree Worth Saving:

Your Arborist can help you determine if your tree is worth saving by looking at:

  • Species: Is this type of tree prone to pests & other problems?
  • Age: Is the tree young, mature, or over-mature.
  • Vigor: What health condition was the tree in before the damage?
  • Value: Does the tree still have value even if partially damaged?
  • Sentimental Value: Is the tree a living monument?

If not worth saving, remove it as soon as possible. If the tree dies and isn’t removed if can become a hazard tree, threatening the property around it and adding to the removal costs. When in doubt schedule a consultation with a Certified Arborist.

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