Dead trees pose a significant threat to the safety of your home. Yet many people have a difficult time determining when a storm-damaged tree should be removed--and when it should be left alone to heal. If one of the trees in your yard has recently suffered damage, read on. This article will present three important factors in determining whether you should have it removed by a professional arborist.
The Species of the Tree
Not all trees are created equal in terms of their ability to weather--and survive--storm damage. Species whose wood is weaker will display a greater chance of losing limbs, even after the storm has passed. Likewise, species with shallow roots pose a much greater chance of collapse. Be especially wary if your yard contains any of the following species:
- Bradford pear
- silver maple
- black locust
- Siberian elm
The Extent of the Damage
Broken branches are the most common form of storm damage. Yet not all broken branches will require the tree to be removed by tree trimming professionals. When the lost limbs are small enough, the damage can often be treated simply by pruning them back and allowing the tree to heal. The loss of larger limbs, however, poses a much more serious threat, and should be evaluated by a professional.
If the storm has caused the loss of multiple major limbs, in most cases it will need to be removed. Likewise, when assessing the damage, pay attention to the overall number of broken or damaged branches. If this number is greater than fifty percent, the tree's chances of survival aren't great. This is also true if the damage is concentrated on one particular side of the tree. That's because the tree will be off-balance, thus posing a significantly higher risk of collapse.
The Location of the Tree
The placement of a storm-damaged tree is just as important a factor as the severity of the damage. For instance, trees that are located near bodies of water tend to have shallower root systems. As a result, such trees aren't as stable or as hardy, meaning they will have a more difficult time bouncing back from damage. They'll also be at a greater risk of collapse.
It's also good to take into account any recent construction in the vicinity. Heavy machinery can compact the soil and cause changes in gradation that can affect nearby trees. Similarly, take into consideration whether any neighboring trees have been recently removed. This may mean that the damaged tree is already under a greater amount of stress due to the increase in sunlight.