First Aid For Storm-damaged Trees

Storm-damaged trees shouldn't be automatically removed; it's possible to save some of these trees. Here are some of the measures you can take to try and save such trees:

Remove Broken Limbs

The first thing is to remove all the damaged, broken, or torn limbs before they cause further damage to the tree, which can happen in various ways. For example, if you don't remove the broken limbs, they may tear off the tree during the next storm, causing further damage to the tree's bark. Alternatively, the damaged limbs may be infected by diseases that may spread to the rest of the tree.

Don't Over-prune the Tree

It might be tempting to prune the tree after storm damage, but that isn't the way to go. In fact, you should specifically resist the urge to over-prune the tree even if it looks unbalanced and unsightly in appearance. The tree is stressed at this time and further pruning may only worsen the situation. Just remove the damaged branches and let the tree grow; it will be beautiful within no time.

Don't Top the Tree

Tree topping, which goes by several names such as tipping, heading, or rounding over, involves removing whole tops of trees or large branches. Those who advocate for tree topping claim that it increases light penetration, contributes to the stability of the tree, and reduces the competition for resources from different branches. However, topping is rarely necessary, at least not by amateurs, and it will just increase the tree's stress if you do it after storm damage. A tree needs its leaves to manufacture food, and removing all of the leaves is a recipe for disaster.

Repair Damaged Bark

It's not just the branches that can be damaged by storm; even the bark may also suffer storm damage. For example, some of the bark materials can get torn off along with the branches that have been ripped off by the wind. Unfortunately, such damages will allow insects to burrow under the tree's bark, causing damage to the tree. Trim as much of the damaged bark away to prevent further damage to the trunk.

Straighten Leaning Trees

Lastly, it may also be necessary to straighten leaning trees so that they don't fall over completely. There are several ways of doing this; for example, you can restrict the leaning tree's movements using cables attached to an anchor or placing stakes around the tree and attaching the tree to the stakes. A leaning tree is best fixed by a landscape maintenance professional who won't cause it further damage.