How Storms Affect Trees | Cleveland Winter Tree Care Advice

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Storms of any variety can cause great damage to your trees. Sometimes older and more susceptible trees may not survive a strong storm. Preventative care is usually the best way to reduce damage to your trees during blizzards or thunderstorms. By working with a Hunting Valley tree company like Vancuren Tree Service, you can get the best preventive care for your trees or help with repair or removal if they are damaged in a storm.

Storms can bring lots of problems for your trees. High winds, ice, or snow can result in damage, loss, risky situations, and liabilities to your trees and property. The level of risk and likelihood of survival are the two main considerations when it comes to responding to this damage. This means that if a tree is likely to endanger people or the property, it should be removed without question. However, if the risk from the damage is “acceptable”, and the damage to the tree is not life threatening, it may be possible to save the tree and reduce the risk of danger.

When storms occur, trees get damaged in a few ways.

Window throw is when the whole tree is pushed over by high winds. This occurs when the force of the wind is too great for the root system to handle. The root system may not be able to handle this because of previous damage caused by construction or inadequate maintenance. This leads to poor anchorage. Before a storm occurs, the roots should be inspected for fungus, exposed roots, or lifting. If a larger or mature tree has been uprooted, it is usually not salvageable.

Crown twist occurs when high winds load on a lopsided crown, causing major branches and the stem to twist and suffer from damage. This results in splitting and cracking of branches. If this occurs near old wounds or other defects, it can lead to the tree failing. In order to mitigate damage from crown twist, inspect the tree closely. Subtle cracks and defects can be difficult to spot. This damage is usually easy to deal with if it occurs in the branches, but much harder if the trunk is affected.

Stem failure is common if the tree trunk has damage already. It may fail under excessive winds, rainfall, snow, or ice. This usually cannot be repaired. When inspecting the tree, you should look for decayed areas, cavities, nesting holes, and fungus.

Root failure can also occur. When inspecting, look for heaving soil and roots close to the trunk. Also look for pulled or broken roots and mushrooms. The risk of damage may be able to be reduced depending on the tree’s age, size, and how much of the root system is exposed. When damage occurs, young trees with healthy roots can usually be fixed with supplemental support. However, if more than 30% of the root system is exposed, it may be better to remove the tree.

Branch failure can be easily fixed but can also be risky. The best thing to do is to prune before storms to prevent weak branches from damaging the tree and other structures.

While it is impossible to “protect” a tree from a storm, you can minimize the risk of damage. One of the best things to do is to allow a tree to grow naturally so it can adjust to its environmental conditions. Pruning is a very important aspect of preventative care as well. Inspect the trees regularly for broken, diseased, or dead branches.

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To properly take care of your trees before or after a storm, the best option is always working with a certified arborist. By working with tree service companies in Hunting Valley, you can ensure that your trees are receiving excellent preventative care and great restorative care if damage does occur from a storm.

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  • VanCuren Services has been our “go-to” clearing contractor since 2009, tackling both residential and commercial projects across Northeast Ohio.  Most notable project include ODOT Innerbelt Bridge, Cleveland Medical Mart and the NEORSD Superior Stones project.  Dave and his crews are experienced professionals and perform each project with safety as a top priority. I can recommend them with confidence.

    - Vic DiGeronimo, Jr.( Independence Excavating, Inc. Commercial Tree Removal (May 2017) )
  • The precision in which VanCuren took down the dead trees around our home was amazing! The only way we knew VanCuren was there is that the dead trees were gone!

    - Meghan( Gates Mills, Ohio Tree Removal May 2017 )
  • The attention to detail in clearing our property in preparation of building our new home was impeccable!

    - Matt( Gates Mills, Ohio Land Clearing May 2017 )
  • I had a lot of tree trimming done and removals and I barely noticed the crew was at our house. They did their work quickly without interfering and cleaned up very nicely.

    - Lurlie( Independence, Ohio Tree Trimming and removal May 2017 )
  • VanCuren came to my house after I left for work and when I came home, all of tree removals and trimming were completed and the yard perfectly cleaned up. Very professional company.

    - Paul( Bainbridge, Ohio Tree Removal April 2017 )