When you inspect your home and yard for damage after a hurricane or other strong storm, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for so you don’t accidentally overlook damage that could cause further problems later. And because hurricanes and tropical storms are so strong, they can often damage even a large, healthy tree.
Here are some types of storm damage to trees that you should keep an eye out for after a hurricane or tropical storm.
1. Tree Shifting and Leaning
A tree that’s well-anchored into the ground may seem very firm and stable. But if the storm erodes the ground around a tree (or totally saturates the ground so the tree’s roots are sitting in mud), the tree may not have as much power to stay upright as usual.
In this situation, strong tropical storm or hurricane winds may actually destabilize the tree so that it starts to lean over precariously. Even though it hasn’t snapped and its roots aren’t ripped out of the ground, a tree is still damaged in this scenario. It’s less structurally stable, less balanced, and more likely to fall over in a subsequent storm.
Your tree service experts may be able to restabilize this tree with cables, or they may recommend having the tree removed before it falls completely over.
2. Dropped Branches and Debris
One of the most common types of damage you’ll find after a storm is that trees may have leaves, twigs, and branches ripped or knocked down by the wind. Branches that are already dead, diseased, or otherwise unbalanced may be most likely to come down, but a strong enough storm can tear down even strong branches.
Your tree services expert can remove these large branches and trim the spot where it was ripped off smooth so the tree can heal more easily.
3. Flooding and Root Rot
The longer the tree’s roots stay saturated or underwater, the longer they’ll have to go without oxygen. This can cause the tree’s roots to drown and can encourage the growth of a variety of fungi and similar organisms that can cause root rot.
In some cases, you may be able to save a tree with root rot if your tree experts have the right tools and experience. However, the treatments may be labor-intensive. In other scenarios, you may need to remove and replace a tree with root rot.
4. Snapped Tree Trunk
A tree’s trunk can snap at any point along its length in a high wind. If the entire tree has fallen over due to a snapped trunk, it’s obviously a lost cause and will need to be removed pronto. Don’t forget to ask your contractor about stump removal too. If the tree was alive before the storm, the stump may re-grow in an unsightly tangle of new shoots.
If your tree’s trunk broke off near the tip, your tree may be salvageable. However, in some cases, such damage may disrupt the classic outlines and attractive aesthetic of your specimen tree, so you may want to have the tree removed anyway.
As you can see, tree damage from a storm can vary considerably, with some types of damage being more likely to require tree removal than others. However, no matter what type of damage your tree sustains, you should have the tree cared for professionally by local tree experts.
Knuckleheads Tree Service provides these and other tree cleanup and remediation services in the Tampa Bay area. If you live here, be sure to give us a call when you have tree care questions or tree restoration and cleanup needs.