“Is storm damage from trees preventable?” “Could we have prevented this?” “What caused this to happen?” “How can we prevent future damage without removing all of our trees?”

All common questions from customers after they have had unexpected, and usually costly, damage from their trees. I wish I could say there is a perfect answer 100% of the time, but there isn’t. Like a lot of things it is a case by case basis, but some rules in general apply across the board.

When it comes to trees and damage the first mental image is usually a tree or limb falling on a house, structure, or vehicle during some form of storm. These types of failures are not necessarily 100% preventable unless your house is in the middle of a treeless field, but there are measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood. Maintaining proper tree health and managing any problem areas early will not only keep your trees healthy and property looking pristine, but reduce damages during ice, wind, or snow storms. Storms add weight and stress to core structures of your trees and any weaknesses are going to make themselves apparent. Trees that are more likely to experience a failure are: co-dominant trees with more than 1 lead stem, trees with included bark, trees with excess deadwood, trees with excessively heavy canopies, trees with weak root structures, or trees that are already dead. These are all manageable and can be evaluated by an arborist prior to that heavy spring rain and wind storm, or mid winter ice and snow. Co-dominant trees and trees with included bark are likely to have large limb or top breakouts. Trees with heavy canopies or weak roots will be more likely to experience a blow over. Dead trees are just straight up dangerous and unpredictable in stormy weather. Proper regular pruning and removal of excess weight and deadwood, monitoring and treating of parasites, and proper watering and fertilization are all practices that an educated professional can utilize to keep your trees healthy and happy.

The second type of damage we see is harder to manage once it is noted, as it is usually due to roots causing structural damage. The greatest prevention here is not to plant trees that will grow large or have reaching root systems in close proximity to driveways, sidewalks, your home, patio, or septic system. I think it is safe to say most anyone has tripped on a sidewalk that was lifted by a tree root, or walked across a parking lot or driveway that was partially lifted. The damage you are less likely to notice outright is the cracked foundation, or the partially plugged up septic pipes until the damages and repairs are costly. A lot of times the best course of action for these types of issues is full removal of the offending tree.

So when is the best time to have your trees evaluated and managed? Any time! We can easily evaluate your property any time of the year. Different remediation methods are best performed during certain seasons, but we would be happy to work with you to set up a Plant Health Care program that works for your property. Call Aaron at 541-550-8001 to set up your free consultation today.