Warm summer days are synonymous with severe thunderstorms, especially in Texas. While the sound of rain and thunder might be soothing, heavy winds can wreak havoc on your trees. So what do you do if your tree is damaged in a summer storm?
Storm Damage: What to Expect
Severe storms can easily damage your trees in several ways. While hail and heavy rains can cause issues with the bark or root system of your tree, strong winds are the most common culprit for tree damage. The wind can cause all sorts of damage to your trees. So what should you inspect your tree for?
• Broken branches
• Damaged canopy
• Root damage
• Split limbs
• Uprooted tree
If any of the trees on your property have these signs or symptoms, you should take immediate action. Damaged trees can be potentially dangerous. Additionally, injured trees will need quick attention to ensure they heal properly.
Pruning Broken Branches
Strong wind gusts can easily break a tree branch. Luckily, these can be easy to fix. For small branches, simply prune the broken branch away. Small branches should be pruned near a branch joint, which is where several branches join. If there is no branch joint, prune the branch close to the trunk. Pruning this specific way will leave a smaller gash, which will make it easier for the tree to heal.
Pruning larger branches should never be attempted by a homeowner. Since larger branches are heavier, they are much more dangerous to prune yourself. Additionally, do not attempt to prune branches that are near the top of the tree. Pruning the top of the tree can damage the tree further. So in these situations, it's always best to contact a professional tree service for help.
Saving Split Branches
Harsh winds can also cause the branches of a tree to split. Small splits do not need any attention. The tree will heal without any intervention. However, the tree will need help healing larger splits.
For a large tree branch split, you'll want to join the two pieces of branch together. You can do this by adjoining the two pieces together with a piece of grafting tape. You could also use tree cables or a sling. Whatever you decide to use, these items will help keep the two severed pieces of branch together. Similar to a cut on human flesh, the tree will eventually heal by regenerating and growing over the split. Once this begins to occur, you can remove the sling.
Straightening a Leaning Tree
Finally, storm damage and heavy winds can cause a tree to lean. If your tree is leaning severely or is unsteady, you'll need to contact a professional. Dealing with an unstable tree is very dangerous, especially if it is leaning.
If your tree is steady but has a slight lean, you'll want to brace it. Trees should be braced with two to three braces. You'll want to have two braces facing opposite each other. If a third is needed, place it at the rear of the tree. Once you have the braces in place, wrap canvas or burlap around the tree and connect it to the braces. Leave a little slack, so that the tree can still sway in the wind. Leave the braces in place until the next growing season.
Hiring a Professional
While you can certainly do some of these tasks yourself, it's usually best to leave them to the professionals. After all, dealing with storm damaged trees can be risky. If your trees are suffering from a recent storm, contact Sal's Landscape & Tree Service today. Our professionals are happy to help your trees (and yard) overcome storm damage.