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Spring Storms and Protecting Trees

The coming of spring seems so out of reach with snow on the ground and negative degree temperatures outside. It has been a bitter winter, but spring will inevitably pop up its head in no time. If the weather follows the trend of how it has been this year so far, we can only assume it will continue to be unpredictable.

The storms that spring brings in can do a lot of damage to our beloved trees. Once the damage is done, our options to help the tree are minimal. Luckily, as arborists, we have strategies to help mitigate the damage before it’s done. Let’s discuss the best ways to help your trees withstand the high winds from spring storms.

spring storm trees

Tree Pruning

The most important thing you can do for your trees to help reduce the likelihood of storm damage is to have a professional prune your branches. Maintenance pruning will allow us to gain clearance away from structures and remove dead limbs that could potentially damage or injure anything in its way.

Structural pruning is most effective when we can start early in the tree’s life. Many trees grow what we call “codominant stems” which compete with each other and create weak branch unions. When we perform a subordinate pruning, we will encourage a stronger structure and a main central stem. Trees like Bradford Pears and Red Maples are notorious for storm damage due to codominant stems and weak branch unions. We can help mitigate that risk with our structural pruning techniques.

pruning trees

Cabling/Bracing Trees for Support

In conjunction with pruning, some trees may require extra support. This is where cabling and/or bracing come into play. Cabling can help prevent excess movement in high winds with branches that have a weak union. Some trees may have a split or crack that can be braced with a metal rod. These are additional steps we can take to help reduce the risk of your tree failing in a storm.

Lightning Protection Systems for Trees

Some trees may benefit from a lightning protection system. This system includes a copper wire that redirects the impact of a lightning strike and lessens the likelihood of damage. Some trees that may be considered for this type of service are large trees that are highly valued by the customer, tall trees near a body of water, in a group of trees, or next to a structure.

The time to consider your options for alleviating storm damage is now. It is far easier and cost-effective to help prevent damage before it occurs than it is to remove large portions of trees from nearby targets such as houses, cars, driveways, and other structures.

In addition to the services listed above, you should consider caring for your trees and shrubs throughout the season. They are an investment that benefit us in so many ways. Call us about how our Plant Health Care services can benefit your trees this growing season when insects and diseases are prevalent and to learn which of these services could help your trees and receive your free estimate.