How Do I Know If My Tree Is Safe After A Storm?

After a storm like the one that hit the DC Metro area, it may be difficult to know if your tree is safe or not. When a tree falls it is easy to tell that it needs to be removed but what about a tree that suffers minor damage? How can a homeowner tell if a tree is safe? There are a lot of other non-obvious warning signs that you can look for as a homeowner to indicate whether your tree is safe or not.

First Look For Immediate 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 growing 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 call an Arborist immediately! Your tree could be a risk to the safety of you, your family, and your property. If you don’t see any immediate safety warning signs it’s time to assess the damage.

ice strom damageAssessing The Damage: 

  • 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.

If your tree only has minor damage, congratulations your tree made it through the storm unharmed. If your tree has major damage it is time for you and your Arborists to decide whether restoring your tree to good health is worth the investment or if the tree should be removed. To find out how to decide if your tree is worth the investment check out our article Should I Remove My Tree If It Is Damaged.

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