Storms can leave even the most amazing landscape in complete disarray. Stray debris, broken branches, and uprooted trees are common post-storm eyesores. But, what at first sight looks like a total bloodbath may not be fatal to the trees. While it is true that even the most innocuous tree limbs can eventually prove dangerous, trees can recover from storm damage, at least to a certain extent. So, be thorough in your assessment, and check for the warning signs.
Warning signs: The trees being at risk
- Electrical wires in contact with trees are dangerous as they become energized.
- Dead or partially attached branches hanging from the upper branches may need help. Cracked stems and split branches can lead to the structural deterioration or catastrophic tree failure.
- Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk, or mushrooms growing on the bark are the first signs of a decayed and weakened trunk.
- Gaping wounds in the trunk or peeling bark also indicate structural deterioration.
- Fallen or leaning trees exert pressure on other trees.
- Heaving soil at the base of any tree is a prime indicator of an unsound root system.
Like most other living things, a tree’s strength to withstand storm damage in South Philly changes over time. Just because a tree has survived severe storms before, doesn’t mean that it would be able to do it time and again. All trees need regular maintenance and proper upkeep to keep thriving.
Assessing the damage
- Apart from the storm damage, does the tree still look healthy and vigorous? If it does, then there’s probably no cause for concern, and probably didn’t suffer catastrophic damage. Proper maintenance and quick first aid after the storm would be enough in setting things right.
- The larger the size of the broken branch, the harder it will be for the tree to recover from the damage without help. If most of the main branches are gone, it may not be able to last long.
- Has the main upward-trending branch been lost? Sometimes, when a leader is important for upward growth, without it, the tree may have little chance of surviving. But if an arborist somehow saves the tree, it would still be a stunted or deformed version of its former self.
- If the storm damage in South Philly left at least 50% of the tree’s branches and leaves intact, the tree may survive albeit with some professional upkeep. It will eventually produce enough foliage to survive.
- Check the wounds on the bark and branches. The larger the wound, the less likely it is to heal on its own, thus leaving the tree vulnerable to all kinds of pests and diseases.
How can tree services help?
If the damage is relatively slight, pruning the broken branches and repairing the rough edges around wounds would allow the tree to start healing itself. But if it appears to be a borderline case, resist the urge to cut it down and be done with it. Call in a reliable tree service and let them assess the situation. They may carefully prune the broken branches and give the tree some time to recover. A mature shade tree can survive the loss of a major limb, but its wounds need to be carefully monitored. Most people try to prune the trees themselves and in doing so, cause more harm. Resist the temptation to prune yourself or do so too heavily.
Cleaning up tree damage after a major storm isn’t easy and is a job best left to the experts. This is why we recommend Prestige Tree Services. They have the right training, tools, and experience to clean up tree damage and assess the condition of the trees. In fact, roping in an arborist is perhaps the only chance of saving storm-ravaged trees. This would give the trees the best chance for recovery. Get in touch with them for more info about their range of services, and find out how they can save your damaged trees.