Evaluate Tree Health Before Summer Storms Roll In

In this article from Angie's List, Adam Cervin, certified arborist with Hartney Greymont in Needham, Massachusetts, discusses how to protect your trees before summer storms begin. 

Posted: June 18, 2015 

By Adam Cervin 

Summertime brings picnics, juicy watermelon and cool iced tea enjoyed under the shade of a tree.

But it’s also when hurricanes and storms are most common. Taking steps to protect trees now prevents potential damage later. It’s a simple fact: Healthy trees endure summer storms better than unhealthy trees.

Severe weather outbreaks can stress trees’ roots systems, branches and leaves. And if the tree is already stressed, a storm could cause irreparable damage. Proper maintenance on a large, mature tree can help preserve the tree’s beauty, extend its life and reduce the risk of branch failure.

Maximize your safety, protect your property and reduce damage to your trees with proper care.  

Inspecting your trees

There are three factors to keep in mind when preparing your trees for high winds and severe weather: the density of the tree canopy, the strength of the branches and the health of the root system.

Before summer storms hit, evaluate whether your tree needs to be removed by looking at these main characteristics.

  • Is the soil heaving at the base of the trunk beneath the canopy?

  • Is the trunk chipped, or is the bark peeling and cracking?

  • Are there cavities in the trunk or large scaffold branches?

  • Are there dead or hanging branches on the upper canopy of the tree?

  • Do you see fine twigs without living buds near the ends of branches?

Recent excavation near a tree can also damage its roots, which in turn weakens the tree, increasing its susceptibility to decay, pests and wind damage.

If your tree has any of the above, it may be time to stake, brace or remove limbs to prepare for severe weather. These steps support trees and reduce strain endured from withstanding strong summer winds. 

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