Winter storms cause tremendous stress and severe tree damage in Lincoln NE. Obviously, a broken or fallen tree should be removed; but what about a tree that suffers minor storm damage? How can a homeowner tell if a tree is safe?
ASSESSING THE DAMAGE
If only the smaller branches are injured, little or no permanent injury is likely to occur. All that is required is cleanup of the broken twigs and branches and perhaps a pruning, crown cleaning or thinning to restore a pleasing shape to the damaged tree.
Large broken branches, split crotches, removal of bark, and splitting or splintering of the trunk can be caused by strong winds and heavy ice storms. When a tree is severely damaged, the first question that must be answered is: Is the condition of the tree such that keeping it is worthwhile? A professional arborist should be consulted to answer this question. It may be recommended to remove the tree that has brittle wood and a branch structure that makes it vulnerable to additional damage from future storms. Trees that have been topped by storms are prime candidates for removal.
When determining if a tree is worth saving, consideration should be given to items such as the species, age, growing location, the value it adds to the property, and any sentimental value it may possess.
If a tree is not worth saving, remove it as soon as possible. If it is not removed and death occurs, it could become a hazard to its surroundings. Removal of hazardous trees is dangerous work, and too dangerous for the average person. It requires special tree removal equipment and techniques which add to the cost of the safe tree removal.
TREATING THE TREE
If the decision has been made to repair the tree, the next question is: Am I capable of repairing the tree damage myself or should I seek professional help? Major storm repairs will undoubtedly require the use of a chainsaw and tree climbing equipment. Since most people do not have the equipment or substantial experience to use it wisely, it is best to have the work performed by a reputable tree service. This is important because you could be held liable if a hazardous branch or the tree itself falls and damages property or causes personal injury.