Never is danger greater to a tree than during the inevitable trial by storm. The weight of ice or snow and the fury of wind test the strength of limbs, trunks, and roots. The homeowner, helpless at the moment, can only watch and hope that the tree survives. Survival or loss – the key can be the care you give your tree before and after a storm. Knowing ahead of time what to do when a storm strikes can prevent or minimize your financial loss.
- Take safety precautions. Be on the alert for downed power lines and “widow makers,” dangerous hanging branches ready to fall. And, unless you really know how to use one, leave chain saw work to the professionals.
- Remove broken branches that are still attached to the tree. Branches should be pruned at the point where they join larger ones.
- Don’t top your trees. Never cut the main branches back to stubs. Ugly, weakly attached limbs will often grow back higher than the original branches and be more likely to break off in a future storm.