Tree careFallen leaves

Whenever a storm hits, your trees and yard are always first in line to take a beating. The heavy rains and high wind gusts that accompany thunderstorms can leave a mess that requires lots of evaluation and patience to clean up. It is essential to take precaution when dealing with the aftermath so your yard and trees aren’t just cleared, but they look healthy when you’ve finished. These tips will help you clean with efficiency.

What Happens to Trees During Storms?

Many different elements that can damage trees during storms, including high winds, hail, lightning, and ice. At the end of a severe storm, you could have:

  • Large limbs or branches that have been knocked off or partially torn
  • Limbs that are frozen and laden with ice
  • A tree that’s been struck by lightning, which could cause many different types of damage, including broken limbs or complete destruction of the tree
  • An entire tree that’s been toppled over
  • A tree with decay in the trunk can crack and fall over
  • Damage that Injured Trees Can Cause

One of the most common and hazardous consequences of tree damage during a storm is power lines that get knocked out. And not only is this an inconvenience (because you lose power to the neighborhood), but it can also be a life-threatening situation if there are live wires exposed. On top of that, large limbs and branches can fall on people, other trees, your home or car, a neighbor’s home or car, or anything else in the general vicinity.

A tree that’s been damaged in a storm can cause plenty of destruction afterward as well, which is why it’s so important that you address it right away. Moreover, a tree that has wounds must be tended to, because otherwise disease and pests may set in, and this could cost the tree its life.

Do a Safe Inspection

Search for Broken Branches

Although a simple broken branch is often overlooked, these hazards can be dangerous for your property, the people near it, and the tree itself. When a tree continues to exist with broken branches attached, it is left vulnerable to multiple health problems.

After a storm, check all of your trees for cracked, split, or broken branches. If you see any large, heavily damaged, or hard-to-reach branches, call your local emergency tree service to discuss branch removal, and having the trees trimmed to ensure that the next storm won’t cause as much damage.

Check for Leaning Trees

Even though a tree hasn’t fallen during a storm, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the tree is strong enough to hold its ground during the next one. Unfortunately, many people overlook trees that lean or sway a large amount during storms. Fallen trees can cause a significant amount of damage to your property, and lead to severe injury or death if it falls on an individual. (This might be a time to call us for tree removal)

If you see a leaning tree, either before or after a storm on your property, address the issue immediately. A professional arborist will come and determine whether complete tree removal will be necessary, or if it can be lightened up with an expertly performed pruning job. This includes trees that happen to be leaning against other trees or other structures.

Inspect Your Utility Wires

During your tree inspection post-storm, keep your eyes open for wires that are in contact with the tree branches. Storms equipped with high winds can cause these utility lines to become loose, or cause branches to break and come in contact with electrical lines. If you notice any loose wires or wires that are touching your trees, contact a professional tree trimmer for assistance in resolving the issue.

By performing these regular checks, you’re helping to increase the safety of your property, and the health of the trees themselves. In addition to these checks:

  • Have your trees trimmed and pruned regularly to remove potentially weak or hazardous branches.
  • Install lightning protection systems in your valuable trees to help in reducing the chance of lightning damage.
  • Get a professional arborist to add cabling or bracing to structurally weak trees to prevent them from breaking or splitting during large storms.

Proper tree care will leave you with healthy, strong trees that are more likely to survive harsh weather and destructive storms. If you’re in the St. Louis, MO area, schedule an appointment with Jackson Tree Service. We’ve been helping home and property owners for over 50 years, so contact us today!


Make Repairs

If there are any broken or hanging branches or stubs attached to the tree, remove them as soon as possible. You can prune damaged branches to help nurse your tree back to health, but don’t go too far. Only cut smaller branches to the point where they join larger ones.  

Pick up any small twigs, leaves, and debris, all of which can be used for meaningful purposes. The leaves can be composted while any branches or twigs you pick up can be transformed into firewood or wood chips. Any plants with a broken stem should be replaced. However, if the stem is intact, particularly on your annuals, perennials, or vegetable plants, just remove the leaves. Also, don’t rid the plant of more than one-third of the leaves, so your plant can gradually replace the ones that it lost.



Once you have cleaned up, be sure to do as much tree maintenance as you can throughout the year. Mulch, fertilize and water your tree as often as possible. These methods will enhance your tree’s health while making them less likely to have deadwood break off during future storms.

Call Help When Necessary

If extensive removal of tree branches is required, a tree (or parts of it) are leaning on a power line, or overhead chainsaw work is needed, leave it to the tree specialists

Learn more about tree safety and how you can properly clean up following a storm in St. Louis through Jackson Tree Service.