Steps In Providing Immediate Care To Storm-Damaged Trees
Sydney storms and high winds often leave your trees looking messy and lifeless. And, in the devastating aftermath, your first instinct might be to get them off your property as soon as possible. While emergency tree removals are the surest way to prevent your trees from causing injuries and damages, it is not always the only solution. Before you make a hasty decision you can’t take back, read these steps in providing immediate care to storm-damaged trees.
1. Stay Calm
Experiencing the wrath of heavy winds and storms can be very exhausting. All you want to do is get things back to normal so you can finally rest and move forward. However, rushing things can lead to making the wrong decisions. The first thing you need to do is to breathe and stay calm. Clear your head for a moment so you can approach the situation better. Resist the urge to do something hastily and wait for the right answers to come. As long as a damaged tree does not pose an immediate physical risk, you don’t need to find solutions right away. Just leave the aftermath as it is until you are absolutely sure it’s safe to start clearing the area.
2. Put Your Safety First
Immediate care for storm-damaged trees can be perilous, especially for an inexperienced tree worker. Hanging branches and entire tree trunks might fall and hit you at any time. You also need to handle hazardous equipment that, if used incorrectly, could threaten your health. For safety’s sake, wear the proper protective equipment and cover as much of your skin as you can. Make sure your tools and equipment are also in their best condition. Watch out for hanging branches and trees that look unsteady. And, never work anywhere near electrical lines. And, if you really want to put your safety first, hire a professional tree specialist to perform the job on your behalf.
3. Hire Reliable Professionals
If you’re not confident that you can safely give your storm-damaged trees the first aid they need, enlist the services of a tree care expert. However, make sure you are hiring the right tree services company for the job. Be wary of hiring tradesmen that cannot offer credentials and insurances. Their services might come cheaper, but you should never gamble away your safety and security on people you are not sure you can trust. Find an established tree care company in your area and ask for certificates of insurance. You can also confirm their legitimacy by checking their ABN and calling the insurer. Moreover, be sure to seek feedback from their previous clients.
4. Assess The Damage
If you don’t believe you need to call a professional arborist right away, try assessing the damage on your trees yourself. Is your tree creating a hazard? Are there any visible structural damages? Do you see any broken limbs and hanging branches? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you will probably have to consider hiring a tree removal expert as soon as possible. These signs could mean your tree is badly hurt and has little chance of surviving. However, if your tree appears to be healthy and strong, or if the damage from the storm appears to be minimal, then you can probably tackle tree cutting and clearing on your own.
5. Make An Informed Decision
After inspecting the condition of your storm-damaged trees, you need to decide what you want to do with them. You can either keep them and apply treatment procedures, or remove them completely. Whatever you decide, make sure to consider what’s best for the tree and the safety of your family and property.
If the damage is minimal, it may be safe to keep your tree. After pruning broken branches and repairing bark wounds, your tree should be able to start healing itself. However, monitor the tree for signs of decay. If you find that your tree isn’t healing after a few weeks, there might be a deeper problem. You’ll need the help of someone with a trained eye.
On the other hand, if the devastation is too severe, and you feel that your tree is unsalvageable, better call for emergency tree removal services. Don’t wait until your tree starts causing problems that could seriously affect your life.
6. Apply Basic First Aid
If you think saving your storm-damaged trees is still possible, apply these basic first aid procedures:
- Remove branches that are loosely connected to the tree. This will help prevent water and disease from entering the wound and encourage new and healthier growth. Make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle, and be careful not to cut the branch collar to make sure your tree will heal correctly.
- Repair bark wounds. If your tree’s bark has been peeled or deeply wounded, it could be a good nesting place for pests and insects, causing the tree’s further decline. To prevent this from happening, smooth the ragged edges of the wound with a chisel or knife. Avoid exposing any more of the inner bark to help the tree continually receive the nutrients it needs.
- Do not over-prune. It may be tempting to keep cutting away unsightly branches, but taking out more branches and limbs than necessary could affect the tree’s ability to quickly heal itself. Carefully choose which branches to remove and which ones to keep. Don’t worry if your tree ends up looking misshapen or unbalanced after pruning. Before you know it new foliage will grow, and your tree will once again look majestic.
- Do not top your trees. Some novice tree workers believe that reducing the length of branches will help trees better withstand heavy storms. However, professional arborists say topping or cutting main branches back to stubs can make the tree weaker and more likely to break.
A topped storm-damaged tree, when exposed to the same harsh conditions, will probably die. And if it survives, it will never go back to its original health and appearance.
Follow these steps in providing immediate care for your storm-damaged trees. However, always practice caution in approaching trees that have been through a disaster. The best thing you can do is to leave the work to professionals. You might be strong and confident enough to handle the job yourself, but there are methods that only a trained and experienced tree care worker will know. If you want the best care for your storm-damaged trees, contact our professional arborists at Tall Timbers Tree Services. We’ll take care of your trees and prevent them from causing any danger as you focus on your own recovery. We’ll also place preventive measures so you won’t experience the same problems the next time a storm hits or lightning strikes. For a free quote and consultation, call us today on 0414 627 627.