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4 Steps for Taking Care of Your Trees After a Major Storm

Fallen tree after storm

If a major storm just swept through your area, then one of your top priorities should be taking care of the trees on your property. You need to inspect your trees for damaged branches, clean up fallen debris, drain away extra water, and add new mulch around your trees.

1. Check for Damaged Branches

After a storm hits your area, check for damaged branches. Stand under the base of each tree in your yard. Look up at the branches and see if you can spot any branches that are cracked, have broken off at a rough angle, or are dangerously dangling.

Cracked Branches

Cracked branches are a safety hazard. Once a large branch has a crack in it, it could fall at any time. Sometimes, tree companies can save cracked branches by wiring up the branch and allowing the tree to heal naturally. Other times, cracked branches just need to be removed for safety reasons.

Broken Branches

Branches that have broken off completely at a rough angle also need to be addressed. Jagged wounds do not heal up very nicely. A tree company can come in and cut the branch clean, near where the branch meets the trunk of the tree. This will promote proper healing and ensure your tree doesn't develop an infection at the wound site.

Dangling Branches

Dangling branches are extreme safety hazards because the branch is no longer properly connected to the tree and will come down. Cutting down a dangling branch immediately is the best recourse for your own safety.

If you identify any trees with dangerous branches, get assistance from a professional tree company to properly deal with the damaged branches.

2. Clean Up Fallen Debris

After a large storm, lots of debris can be left behind. Sticks, leaves, and twigs are the most common type of debris left behind after a big storm. Do not leave this debris to decompose under your trees and on your lawn. Rake up or pick up storm debris and put it in a designated compost pile.

Leaving storm debris to decompose on the ground can create an ideal breeding ground for soil-borne fungus when left at the base of your trees. Many types of soil-borne fungus can infect and harm your trees.

3. Drain Away Excess Water

Check the soil around your trees. If the soil is a little damp or even soggy, this is normal following a big storm. However, if there are pools of water around the base of your tree, then you need to take action. If water is pooling at the base of your tree, all that water could be drowning your tree's roots. Too much water, just like too little water, can actually kill your trees.

If you have a drainage issue, dig a temporary ditch to redirect the water. This will help protect your tree's roots from drowning. For a permanent solution, add a drainage tile and adjust the soil grade around the tree.  

4. Add New Mulch

Strong storms can wash away the mulch under your tree. Mulch provides many positive benefits for your trees. Mulch insulates the soil, aids in water retention, repels weeds, and prevents soil compaction.

Allow the ground around your trees to dry out a bit. Next, add extra mulch around the root base until the mulch is about four inches deep. Remember, the mulch should not touch the trunk of the tree, so you want to leave a couple of inches of breathing room around the base.

After a storm, the first thing you should do is check your trees for damage. Be sure to also spend some time picking up the debris left behind from the storm, adding extra mulch to the base of your trees, and dealing with any excess or pooling water.

Engaging in these tasks will help protect the long-term health of your trees following a major storm. If your trees are damaged, the professionals at Community Tree Service, Inc. can help take care of your trees.