How to Handle Fallen Trees After a Hurricane
When a hurricane goes through your region it leaves quite a bit of destruction across its path. If the damage includes a fallen tree, it becomes a big disruption to the community. In that case, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire professionals to remove it from your property. Let’s dive deeper and figure out how you should handle fallen trees after a hurricane.
- Appropriate response after a hurricane – After the hurricane passes over, it’s important to make sure that the area is safe. Inspect your property and its immediate surroundings for downed power lines. If they are still active, they can kill people, and animals and burn down homes. Look for broken and hanging limbs and clear them out. If it’s not clear, look at the angle of the leaves attached to the branches. They can give you clues about the condition of those limbs.
Next, you need to call a certified arborist or a tree care professional. These professionals can assess the damaged tree and assess if pathogens have made their way into the damaged tree. In that case, they can advise you on pruning certain parts of the tree to stop the infection from spreading and affecting the entire tree. Apart from preventing the spread of infection, pruning can also seal the wood and avoid rotting. On the other hand, if the tree has fallen due to the hurricane, you need a different approach.
- Discuss with the arborist – If you call an arborist to your property, make the best of this opportunity to discuss a few important things. Ask them if the tree is still healthy after undergoing storm damage. You should especially enquire about the trunk. The trunk contains the vascular tissue of the tree and if that gets severed, the tree won’t be able to move around nutrients and water and will die within a few years.
Also, ask about the major limbs of the tree. Figure out if they are broken. If large limbs are damaged or separated from the tree, the tree is going to have a harder time sealing off the wound. Enquire about the tree’s conditions. If the tree has fallen due to a hurricane, instead of just removing the tree, replacing it with a new one is a better choice. You also need to discuss if the overall shape and structure of the tree are drastically changed due to the storm damage. For instance, if it leans heavily on one side, it may become a hazard and needs to be brought down.
- Removing and replacing fallen trees – When a tree is knocked down by a hurricane it transforms your local community. Children lose a shaded place to play around, wildlife loses home, your home gets warmer during the summer due to lack of shade and there’s a sharp drop in air quality. Those aren’t the only benefits you get from a tree.
Trees also take up water from the soil and prevent flooding. They also reduce soil erosion by a significant margin and are giant organic carbon capture machines that help the environment by reducing global warming. Since they provide shade for your home, your home becomes more energy-efficient, and you end up paying less on your annual energy bill. Trees also have a strong positive effect on mental health. Research shows that when you spend more time with nature, you tend to be happier, healthier, and develop better cognitive abilities. You also suffer less from depression and have fewer anxiety disorders.
That’s why entirely removing the tree should be the last option. Getting a tree removed is very simple. You let the professionals handle it and choose to either keep the stump or entirely remove the root network of the tree. The latter option is very expensive. Instead, it’s better to just replace the old fallen tree with a new one. You shouldn’t consider just removing the tree unless a new tree in its place can become a safety hazard or interferes with the utility lines.
- Selecting new trees – When you decide on replacing the old fallen tree with a new one, try to add variety to your property. While you may have a few exotic trees in mind, planting a native tree is always the better choice. Native trees are well-adapted to the local weather and soil conditions and can help you to create a natural ecosystem. They are also less prone to diseases and pests.
Planting native trees add a lot to the biodiversity of that area since it allows local birds and insects to flourish in their natural home. You can visit the local nursery or discuss with a local arborist about native species that are suited for your property. Some native trees like oak may have an advantage over maple trees with a larger and denser canopy and provide better shade for bringing down the energy cost of your home.
- Prevent hurricane damage – If your area is prone to hurricanes and you get an early weather forecast, you can take some measures to protect your trees from hurricane damage. One of the best measures is pruning. You can prune and train young trees to develop well-spaced and sturdy branches that allow the strong wind to pass through instead of resisting it.
If your property has a tree that is taller than 12 feet, you can prune it to manage wind resistance. Before each hurricane season check the state of the limbs and remove dead branches that may break off and become a hazard during the storm. If the tree has older branches that are exceptionally long and almost as thick as the trunk, prune them to a shorter length.
A hurricane can do a lot of damage to the tree. In the worst case, it may uproot the tree completely. When you have a fallen tree on your property, it’s best to call the professionals by searching for “tree service near me”.