How did your property fare during Hurricane Dorian earlier this month?

If you have a number of trees on your land, they are probably one of your big concerns each time a big storm is in the forecast. It’s a great idea to keep the name and number of a certified arborist tree service on hand and call them as soon as you know about tree damage—we get very busy following a hurricane!

Not all tree damage is equally obvious, however. Here are four things that you need to think about when a hurricane hits, even if your trees are still standing.

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  1. Hanging Branches

Obviously, branches often break completely and fall to the ground during strong winds. But just because your branches are still attached to the tree does not necessarily mean that they have not been damaged or weakened.

“Hangers,” branches that have broken but not separated from the trunk, create a serious hazard for people, animals, vehicles, and structures nearby. Usually it only takes a moderate wind to knock these branches loose, especially after some time has passed and the limb’s connection to the trunk has weakened further.

  1. Uprooted/Leaning Trees

In the same way, an entire tree can be damaged—even irreparably damaged—by a hurricane without it being immediately obvious. Strong winds sometimes completely uproot a tree, loosening its hold on the soil, without pushing it over. This type of tree is then very unstable, as its lack of support structure and reduced ability to take in nutrients progressively weaken it.

One major warning sign to look for after a storm is whether your trees are still standing straight upright. A tree that has had its roots loosened will usually lean to one side, even if only slightly. This should trigger a call to your trusted tree service in Charleston, SC to get your damaged trees removed as soon as possible.

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  1. Removing Fallen Trees

When a tree has actually been felled by a storm, it may seem like an easy process to cut off the branches and remove it yourself. With a chainsaw and maybe a couple of friends, shouldn’t you be able to make it a DIY project over a weekend?

We’ve seen many homeowners injured attempting a project like this. There are some risks with removing a fallen tree that aren’t immediately obvious, and the most serious one is the incredible pressure that many branches are under as the tree lies in place on the ground.

Cutting one of these branches in the wrong spot can cause it to suddenly release, striking you or your volunteering friends and causing serious injury. Our certified arborists know how to process a fallen tree both quickly and safely, minimizing the negative effects of the storm on you and your property.

  1. Preventive Maintenance

By far the best way to mitigate hurricane or other storm damage to your trees is to have them inspected by a professional service before bad weather hits. If an invisible disease is eating away at one of your trees, it is especially vulnerable to high winds. If you have allowed dead and dying branches to remain on your trees, they are certain to create serious threats to your buildings and any nearby vehicles while you’re sitting out the storm indoors.

Even a “healthy” tree can be vulnerable to a hurricane if it has not been maintained properly. A crown that has been allowed to grow too large catches the wind in a storm, putting too much pressure on the trunk and eventually uprooting it.

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With one hurricane behind us and the primary hurricane season still ahead of us, now is the perfect time to have our certified arborists inspect your trees and prepare them to ride out the storms. You can’t guarantee that every tree will make it through the season, but you can do everything possible to protect them.

Give us a call or email us today to set up your appointment with us. We’ll tell you what your trees need in order to keep your property as safe as possible.

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