Can This Tree Be Saved?

3 things you may not know about storm damaged landscaping

Wherever you live, storms of some kind most likely pose a threat to your landscaping at some time during the year. Hurricanes, rain storms, ice storms, snow storms — they can all cause damage from minor to major.

The University of Minnesota|Extension lists three things to remember when it comes to storm damage to your landscape:

Prediction — Predicting tree damage has less to do with listening to the weather reports and more to do with issues that may exist in your landscaping that make it more vulnerable during a storm. Look for decay and existing site problems; problems in a single branch are less worrisome than issues in the trunk. A common test recommends that “for every 3 inches of branch or stem diameter, solid wood should comprise at least 1 to 1.5 inches. Anything less than that often indicates a branch or stem that is more likely to fail during a storm.”

Find more detail on Predicting Tree Failure here.

Prevention — Monitor, prune, protect. Keeping your eye out for potential problems early gives you the opportunity to nip a small problem in the bud, before it becomes a big problem. Although pruning is necessary, improper pruning can do more harm than good. Protect your landscaping from new wounds and potential weaknesses from machines such as mulchers and trimmers; consider mulching and staking your trees to safeguard against accidental injury.

Find more detail on Preventing Tree Damage here.

Treatment — for all but the most minor damage, experts recommend consulting with an expert — if chainsaws or ladders are required, if power lines are down, if you’re not sure the tree is worth saving — those are all signs that a qualified arborist should be called in. Treating storm damaged landscaping can range from corrective pruning to cabling and bracing (see more detail on these and more treatments here).

More resources for preventing and recovering landscape damage from storms: