Storm Series #2: Post-Storm Clean Up

Preventative tree care can go a long way to minimizing storm damage. But even the best prevention can’t completely negate the risk of tree damage in your yard. Was your landscape torn up by a sudden storm? Make sure you know the right steps to safely cleaning up your yard after a storm.

Always Put Safety First

It’s important to protect yourself as well as your property. Always take appropriate safety measures when cleaning up storm damage.

  • work gloves and ear protectionBe on the alert. Stay away from utility lines and keep an eye out for dangers, both in a tree’s canopy and at its base.
  • Don’t trust your eyes. Broken limbs may still be lodged in the canopy, but can fall unexpectedly.
  • Look for trees in contact with power lines. A tree that touches a power line (as well as the ground at the base of the tree) can become energized, creating a major danger.
  • Dress appropriately! If you’re skilled, attired correctly, and own the proper equipment, it’s usually okay to handle storm clean up yourself. If you’re untrained or wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt, you’re only putting yourself at risk.
  • Always follow the guidelines in your instruction manual for any power equipment you’re using.

Evaluate Tree Damage

Are your trees at risk for causing more damage? To determine whether a tree can be saved, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the tree healthy (apart from fixable storm damage)?
  • Are most major limbs and/or the leader branch still intact?
  • Is at least 50% of the tree’s crown intact?
  • Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure?

If so, there’s a good chance the tree can be saved. If you’re not sure whether or not your tree has a chance, consult a professional.

Learn to Repair Minor Damage

  • Remove any broken branches or stubs still attached to the tree.
  • Remove any jagged limbs still attached to the trunk. Wounds are an easy entry-point for decay and disease.
  • Prune back smaller branches to the point where they join with larger branches.
  • Remember that over pruning can cause more damage to the tree. Remove dangerous limbs, and leave aesthetic pruning for the dormant season.

Know What You Can Handle

There’s a clear delineation between what a homeowner can handle, and which tasks require a professional touch. Any tree damage that’s not on the ground should be handled by a professional. Attempting to fix leaning, cracked, or otherwise damaged trees yourself can pose a threat to your life. Tree removal specialists have the experience and equipment to safely remove damaged trees and branches. Call a pro when:

  • Large limbs are broken or hanging overhead, requiring chainsaw work to safely remove.
  • A tree is uprooted or fallen. It may seem like a simple matter of hacking away at the branches, but there are unseen pressure points, which can cause a violent, catapult-like reaction.
  • Downed trees or branches lay close to power lines or water lines, report it to your utility company immediately. Do not attempt to remove the tree on your own.
  • You encounter a task you’re not trained for or feel uncomfortable attempting by yourself.

When in doubt, call the pros. If you have storm damage you’re not equipped to clean up, call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service for reliable, affordable tree removal in Gainesville.