After storm damage, fallen or leaning trees can be dangerous if they have not entirely come to rest on the ground. Homeowners, please have a professional handle the shifting dynamics of the weight of the tree to spare yourself injury!
Professional tree companies are skilled in carefully removing a tree that has fallen during a storm. You will first want to assess the situation and see if the tree is simply laying in the yard--which folks experienced with a chain saw can handle, or whether the tree still presents dangers to property or people--which calls for trained arborists with liability insurance.
Oftentimes, only part of a tree may have been broken off or cracked. While the debris on the ground can be cleaned up easily, broken branches still in the tree can become dislodged by wind and hurt people or property in a wide area under the tree. We advise removal of these hazardous branches immediately for your own safety.
If you have storm damaged tree or branches that are leaning on a building or roof contact your insurance company immediately to find out if clean up can be reimbursed and take photos to document the damage. We recommend getting cleanup underway for your safety and to prevent further damage to the house. Let your insurance company know how you are proceeding.
Ask your tree company if they can assist you with putting a tarp on damaged areas unless you have immediate help coming to handle the repairs.
After a storm--whether ice, wind or snow, take a stroll around your property and look carefully at your trees. Sometimes it takes a few minutes or a second stroll to see details. Even a trained eye can miss a tree branch out of order. Walk all the way around large trees, scanning major branches from the ground to the sky.
For pine trees and cedar trees, you want to look further inside the tree near the trunk where breaks are more likely.
In general, look for disorganized areas of branches or leaves. The leaves may be upside down, or you may notice a darker patch of leaves. Upon closer inspection you may discover an entire branch that has broken off and is hanging in the tree.
Of course, you may see a clear break or rip. Most importantly, identify if there are still branches remaining trapped in the tree so that you are aware of any safety hazards while waiting for a tree company to attend to it. Reroute ground travel around these hazards!
Contact a certified arborist in your neighborhood to have the removal done safely and to have your trees carefully inspected for other storm damage.
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