Although hurricane season is most active from August to October, late-season storms can occur and cause substantial problems for homeowners. One of the most dangerous issues you might face is damaged trees. These trees haven't fallen yet, but they may do so in the future. If one or more of your trees shows signs of damage, take steps to keep your home, family, and property safe. The safety tips below can help you avoid tree problems after late-season storms.
Access the Situation From a Distance
You may feel inclined to access, or inspect, your trees to see how much damage they sustained during the storm. Although it's okay to examine your trees, you must keep safety in mind at all times. To do so, inspect the trees from a distance. It's also a good idea that you use binoculars to examine your trees. Binoculars allow you to inspect areas of the trees at close range without ever going near them, including the crown.
The crown of trees are very vulnerable to high winds and other dangerous weather conditions. Crowns can become heavy with branches and limbs over time. If the branches and limbs connected to the crowns break during a strong gust of wind, they can place you in danger if they suddenly fall to the ground.
To assess your trees for crown damage, look for branches and limbs that hang lower than usual. Also, look for "clumps" in the trees. Branches and limbs that haven't dropped to the ground may catch or rest on top of other branches and limbs.
Finally, look for leaning trees on your property. Strong seasonal storms can pull trees up at the root. The soil around the roots may also be bogged down with water. All of these conditions make storm-damaged trees exceptionally dangerous. If you notice a tree that leans even just a little, avoid it.
Once you notate the damage, you can move forward.
Remove or Stabilize Your Trees With Professional Help
Because of the potential problems mentioned above, you want to block off access to the damaged trees as soon as possible. You can safely do so by placing brightly-colored signs around your property warning other people about the trees. You can also rope off the bad areas, but you should avoid working close to the bases of the trees. The soil may still be saturated and weakened with rainwater.
Also, contact a professional tree removal company like General Tree Service for assistance. Although some online DIY sites provide instructions on how to remove damaged branches and limbs, you should never do so without professional help. Using a chainsaw or another type of heavy tool can be potentially dangerous. In addition, falling branches, limbs, and trees can fall at angles or directions you may not anticipate.
A contractor will generally run assessments of the trees before they make any decisions. If the trees show signs of substantial damage, such as long cracks or breaks along the trunk, it may be safer to remove them. Severely damaged trunks may not be strong enough to support the heavy crowns of trees. But if your trees have broken branches and limbs in their crowns, a contractor may trim them.
Some contractors stabilize leaning trees with support cables, ropes, anchors, and other mechanisms. These mechanisms may help prevent trees from toppling over in the future. You should keep in mind that not all trees can be stabilized. The trees simply can't survive if they suffer extensive storm damage. In this case, removal is often the best option.
To learn more about staying safe or treating your storm-damaged trees, contact a tree service provider today.