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.
Do a Safe Inspection
If you feel confident enough to clear resulting debris from the storm yourself, then protect yourself in every instance. Wear protective gear such as gloves, head, and face protection, among other things should you have them handy. Furthermore, stay away from any damaged utility lines. If there are any trees in direct contact with those lines, it’s wise to call a tree specialist and your utility company to determine the safest course of action. Those lines could still be live, thus increasing risk levels.
When inspecting your tree after a storm, look for things such as any hanging or broken branches or any splits in those branches. Look at the crown to see if more than half of it is left. Determine if there is any decay, split, or cavity in the tree trunk. Also, examine if the root system has been pulled and if there is heaving soil at the tree’s base. Take as many pictures as necessary of the damage as documentation, especially if you’re going to enlist professional help.
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.