When it comes to storms and trees: Safety first

By John Woodmansee

Recent damaging winds have some homeowners scrambling to repair homes or other buildings, and they may also be wondering what to do with damaged landscape trees. Not to be a pessimist, but as an Indiana resident, we can just about count on a few more spring storms, can’t we?

Lindsey Purcell, Purdue Urban Forestry Specialist, recently posted in Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources’ Got Nature? Blog (purdue.edu/fnr/extension/got-nature-blog/) that homeowners should consider safety first.

“Stay clear and look for dangerous hanging limbs, broken branches and other failures before beginning cleanup or inspections,” he said. “Keep others clear of the areas beneath and around damaged trees.”

Purcell said to be alert for power lines that could be involved with damaged trees. All utility lines should be considered energized and dangerous.

“In my experience, during storm cleanup, many tree owners are faced with the decision of what to do with their trees relative to restoration or removal,” Purcell said.

There are several types of tree damage that occur from violent weather, and each has its own specific assessment considerations. “All parts of the tree should be inspected during a post-storm assessment,” he said. “This requires the expertise of trained, professional arborists to assist with the decision making regarding the best course of action.”

He added that unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of the situation and overcharge or provide poor advice when it comes to the best decision on their trees.

“Don’t make any hasty decisions and be sure you are hiring an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, ask for references and proof of insurance in the process,” he said.

ISA Certified Arborists may be found online at isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx.

Purdue Extension also has various resources that can help. Trees and Storms, publication number FNR-FAQ-12-W, can be located in Purdue Extension’s “The Education Store,” mdc.itap.purdue.edu, for more information.

Additionally, the Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network has resources on storms and clean up, plus a wealth of information on dealing with all types of disasters, at ag.purdue.edu/extension/eden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *