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
“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.