The weather has been wild. There are storm alerts blaring from your phone and you can barely see your yard with the sheets of rain that are coming down. Of course, that’s not even mentioning the wind. Even though there might not be hurricane-force winds, things are certainly whipping around out there. At wind speeds between 25 and 57 miles per hour trees can bend and branches can break. When winds get up to between 58 and 74 miles per hour larger limbs can snap off and shallow rooted trees can topple over. What happens if you have some serious yard-related storm damage? Take a look at what you need to know when dealing with the aftermath of heavy rains and high winds.
It’s tempting to rush outside and get up close and personal with your trees. You may want to fully inspect the damage, pulling on dangling limbs or moving partially toppled trunks. In short – don’t. Even though you instinctively want to check out the damage, moving tree parts could prove dangerous. A seemingly stable part of the tree could suddenly topple over, falling on you. Weak or flimsy branches could fall as you walk underneath as well.
And then there’s the electrical issue. If power lines have snapped, fallen on or are in some way tangled up in your trees, never touch the lines, the trees or anything near them. These fallen lines (and the trees they’re stuck in) pose a serious electrical shock and fire hazard.
Call in the Pros
Obviously, you can’t let your storm-damaged trees just sit in your yard. They aren’t going to magically disappear and Mother Nature won’t take care of them. Here’s where you need a tree care professional. The pros know how to handle broken limbs, toppled trunks and everything else you’re seeing in your yard. They have the safety know-how to clear your outdoor space without putting you (or anyone else) in danger. This doesn’t just cover removing branches and trunks that have already fallen. Cutting broken branches in the wrong order may result in large pieces of the tree falling and potentially crushing you. The tree care pros know the proper way to take a broken branch down, without letting it crash down on someone or something.
Along with the safety factor, a professional service knows how to help the trees that have made it through the storm. Randomly chopping of branches, or worse – breaking them off, won’t help your trees. Yes, it may clear some of the damage. But it may also cause some serious harm to the tree itself. Cutting a branch too close to the trunk may remove the “branch collar.” This is the specialized area of tissue that helps the tree heal the resulting wound. If you shop this part off, you leave the cut open to tree-rotting disease and pests.
Alert the Electric Company
The tree care experts aren’t the only professionals you need to call after you’ve had severe storm damage. If there are downed wires, you need to have the electric company handle the problem before doing anything else. Again, never go near or touch downed wires. Even though they may not look live, they could have the power to seriously shock you. They may also electrify the area surrounding them.
Before a tree pro can come remove the fallen branches and get to trimming the remaining areas, you need to make sure that your yard is safe. Never expect a tree care service to work around downed wires. Contact your local electric provider and ask them to inspect and clear the wires pronto.
Do you have storm damage? Are you looking for ways to prepare for potential storms? Call Smitty’s Tree and Arbor Service at 708-385-2814 for a professional consultation.