"A tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability changes over time. Don't assume that a tree that has survived ten severe storms will necessarily survive its eleventh."
-National Arborist Association
When winter storms blow, falling trees and flying tree limbs can smash roofs, break windows, flatten cars and sometimes kill people. Some warning signs of potential tree trouble from the National Arborist association are:
- Wires in contact with tree branches. Trees may become energized when they contact electric wires.
- Dead or partially attached limbs hung up in the higher branches that could fall and cause damage or injury.
- Cracked stems and branch forks that could cause catastrophic failure of a tree section.
- Hollow or decayed areas on the truck or main limbs, or mushrooms growing from the bark indicate a decayed and weakened stem.
- Peeling bark or gaping wounds in the trunk that indicate structural weakness.
- Tight, V-shaped forks. They are much more prone to failure than open, U-shape ones.
- Heaving soil at the tree base indicates a potentially unsound root system.
Consider having an arborist inspect your trees before storms hit.
Expert arborists can detect instability and disease that could lead to disaster in a strong wind. They can also properly prune trees to maintain their health and stability, remove limbs that may not survive a storm, brace trees or individual limbs for additional structural strength, and provide planting recommendations and ongoing care. Choosing an arborist
The International Society of Arboriculture offers this advice for hiring an arborist:
For more information and a qualified arborist...
- Hire only bonded, licensed and insured arborists.
- Ask for references and check them out.
- Get more than one bid in writing.
- Avoid tree toppers. Qualified arborists rarely offer this solution.
- Look for someone who has passed certification exams or been approved by the leading arborist organizations.
- Beware of door-knockers. Reputable arborists do not solicit work this way.
National Arborist Association
P.O. Box 1094
Amherst, NH 03031-1094
The International Society of Arboriculture P.O. Box 3129
Champagne, IL 61826-3129
American Society for Consulting Arborists
15245 Shady Grove Road, Suite 130
Rockville, MD 20850