A storm-damaged tree isn't an automatic candidate for removal. Some damaged trees have to be removed while others can be saved. Therefore, you need to evaluate your trees after a storm and decide on which ones can be saved. Here are some of the things to assess when making this decision:
Cracks and Splits
These forms of damage are common with large trees or trees with large branches or large foliage. The size and position of the crack or split determine whether a tree can be saved or removed. For example, you should seriously consider removing a tree if:
- There is a large crack in the main trunk
- Most of the large or main branches are broken off
- The tree has two main branches and there is a serious split in the middle
On the other hand, you can probably save your tree if:
- Only small branches are damaged or broken
- Major branches have hairline cracks
The Lean of the Tree
A leaning tree should be assessed to determine whether it is likely to fall or cause serious damage if it falls. The major factor here is how far the tree is leaning; for example, don't bother saving a tree that is almost flat on the ground and is only being propped up by a large branch. If you decide to save the tree, act fast and consult a tree service to confirm your diagnosis and help you save the tree. The arborist can save the tree by tying it to a stable anchor, staking it, or by drilling holes into different branches to stabilize them.
If the tree is leaning towards a high-value, sensitive, or fragile infrastructure, then it's probably best to err on the side of caution and remove it. For example, a tree that is leaning towards the house should be removed since the damage it can cause if it falls may be higher than its value.
The Damage to the Roots
Roots are some of the most important parts of a tree; they provide it with food and water and also anchor it to the ground. Therefore, serious damage to the roots can cause a tree to suffer from poor nourishment or fall at the whiff of a small wind. It is usually a good idea to remove an uprooted tree whose roots are clearly visible above the ground.
The Species of the Tree
Some trees are more sensitive to damage or hardship conditions than others. Therefore, the species of the tree must be considered when determining whether to save or remove it. A fragile tree may need to be removed even if it has only suffered moderate damage.