Storms Approaching

Protect your home, property and family from
the devastating ruin caused by tree damage
due to winter storms and rainfall.

November 18 , 2004

There is nothing worse that being caught off guard in the middle of the rainy season. Late fall and winter are the seasons for some of nature’s most severe weather. Storms in all shapes and forms create havoc throughout the country. Falling trees present one of the greatest dangers posed by storms. Unsafe trees are a threat to lives and property.

“Many shade and ornamental trees are damaged throughout the year by windstorms and heavy rain accumulations,” notes Peter Gerstenberger, senior advisor for safety, standards & compliance with the Tree Care Industry Association. “Damage usually consists of a few broken branches. However, more severe damage – such as splitting or pulling apart of branch unions, removal of large areas of bark, twisting and splitting of the trunk, or even uprooting – poses possible dangers.”

A few tree species, including Chinese elm, silver maple, boxelder and various poplars, have brittle wood that is easily broken. These rapidly growing trees cause a considerable amount of damage to homes, cars and buildings each year. Homeowners should be aware of these characteristics and avoid planting them close to potential targets. If such trees are already growing in these locations, preventive pruning, bracing or cabling may help reduce storm damage this winter. This is particularly true as the tree grows in size and the weight and surface of the leaf and branch area increases. Oaks are not a brittle tree but the limb weight and heavy wood weight also applies here. Over the years, growing trees will “catch” more wind and become heavier, so they are prone to increased mechanical stresses, thus increasing the chances of failure. Larger trees will also affect an increased area should they or their larger limbs fall. This means that homes and other structures that might not have been threatened a few years ago might suddenly be under threat by a tree that has grown. Preparing trees for these natural disasters is a must and should be done well in advance of the stormy season. To help ease these dangers, have a professional arborist evaluate your trees. Doing this will help you determine potential weaknesses and dangers. Remember, too, that a tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability change over time, so don’t assume that a tree that has survived ten severe storms will necessarily survive an eleventh.

A Tree Care Industry Article.


Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460

(805) 688-5580

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