December 14, 2007
Use Caution When Caring for Storm-Damaged Trees
Recent ice storms have left a trail of tree damage across the Midwest. In Nebraska, southeast Nebraska was hardest hit, a Nebraska Forest Service community forestry program leader said.
In the storm's wake, it is important that homeowners use caution when dealing with storm damaged trees, said Eric Berg, Nebraska Forest Service community forestry program leader.
Berg offers these tips:
- When inspecting trees for storm damage, look for splits or cracks in the trunk and major limbs, as well as disturbed soil around the trunk. This indicates a possible structural problem. If a tree sustained structural damage, contact a certified arborist.
- Never climb a damaged tree to remove limbs or attempt any type of clean-up on a tree that is leaning or has a split trunk or branches. These tasks are best left to certified arborists.
- Never remove or trim branches that are interfering with power lines. Instead, contact a local power company.
- When removing fallen branches under the tree's canopy, watch for falling ice and limbs.
- Wait for the ice to melt before pruning damaged branches that are reachable from the ground.
- Be wary of individuals who go door-to-door soliciting business. Reputable tree-care companies are typically too busy to do this.
- Say "no thank you" to anyone who offers to top your tree. Professional foresters and certified arborists agree that topping harms trees and increases the likelihood of structural problems, as well as a tree's recovery time after a storm.
For more information about caring for storm-damaged trees and proper tree care practices or to view a video about pruning storm-damaged trees, visit the Nebraska Forest Service's Web site at http://www.nfs.unl.edu. To locate a professional arborist in your area, visit the Nebraska Arborists Association Web site at http://www.nearborists.org/ or the International Society of Arboriculture Web site at http://www.isa-arbor.com.
Education and Outreach Specialist
Nebraska Forest Service