This week is Severe Weather Preparedness. We often make plans for what to do in worse case situation for families but we often are caught off guard what to do with our trees. Damage done to trees can be from wind, hail, snow/ice, lightning and more. Sometimes the damage is silent and does not appear until weeks or months after an event.
After a major weather event we need to use caution before we breakout the chainsaw and start chopping away at the tree. Broken limbs should be mitigated as soon as they are identified. Proper pruning cuts are not only better for the tree they are also providing the arborist or yourself a level of safety too.
When deciding on what to do think about the long term health of the tree. If the tree has split or sustained significant injury to the bark removal may be the best option. Work with a certified arborist if you are unsure what to do. Choose certified arborist either through the Nebraska Arborist Association (NAA) or International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) both are recognized organizations for excellence in tree care work.
When large portions of the canopy have been damaged the wind dynamics will change. This can increase the wind load on portions of the tree that have not developed supporting internal tissues to handle the added strain. This can lead to further branch/limb failure that could result in damage to personal or private property.
The Nebraska Forest Service has a free download on immediate care for storm damaged trees that will help walk you through proper tree care after a major weather event: https://nfs.unl.edu/Storm%20Damage%20series%20Mobile.pdf