After the Storm: What to Do with Downed Trees
Get your home back to normal quickly and safely after a storm strikes.
We all know that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, but it's all too easy to forget her sheer power until a storm strikes. Gusty winds can mean trouble for trees, leaving them snapped or uprooted, and heavy rains can mean erosion and damage to your lawn. The aftermath of these fallen or uprooted trees can create a dangerous situation well after a storm has passed. Get back to those sunnier days safely and effectively by knowing how to handle a fallen tree.
Evaluating the Damage
During a storm, while you were (hopefully) staying dry inside, your trees were standing up to some extreme winds and rain. Afterward, you may find yourself having to deal with downed trees, or damaged trees at risk of toppling over with the next big gust of wind. Full-size trees can weigh thousands of pounds, and having one go down can create a great deal of damage to whatever is in its path. When removing these fallen trees, the process will be different depending on where the tree fell, the type and size of the tree, and the extent of the damage.
If severe weather takes out one of your trees, where it lands affects the removal process. If the fallen tree is surrounded by a good amount of blockage, such as power lines or other trees, the cleanup will be much more complex. From cutting the tree into smaller pieces to transporting debris, this process can be lengthy and costly. Additionally, if a tree falls on your home, it can damage your roof, plumbing, and electrical wiring, as well as general damage to the framework of your home. If the tree fell in a place where it is easily accessible to a cleanup crew—such as an open yard—then the cleanup will likely be less involved and therefore less expensive.
Type and Size of the Tree
Typically, the larger and taller the tree, the more expensive the cleanup process will be. Pine trees, oaks, and large palm trees top the list when it comes to pricey tree removal. Dealing with large trees is a task that can be dangerous and time-consuming, and should probably be taken care of by a local tree removal service. Removing a downed tree with a thicker trunk typically involves slicing the trunk and limbs into sections to safely remove it from the area. Tall and heavy trees may call for a specialized crane used by a local tree removal service to move the tree from the area with ease.
Extent of the Damage
Depending on the severity of the storm and the state of your trees, you'll want to assess how quickly you need to act. A fallen tree in the middle of the yard can sit for a few days while you collect quotes from potential tree service companies. On the other hand, if a tree looks like it's about to collapse or cause more damage to you or your property, having a service come out immediately is highly recommended. Although an emergency removal service comes with a higher price tag, most work 24 hours a day and are available to fix urgent situations quickly.
Handling a Snapped Tree
It isn't uncommon for trees to snap at the trunk during severe storms, leaving the stump in place and the remainder of the tree laying on the ground. A tree with several branches, especially if they are long and flimsy, can easily catch the wind, making it more susceptible to snapping when a strong gust of wind strikes. Additionally, old or unhealthy trees may have weaker trunks that will not be able to withstand rough winds.
A snapped tree presents a constant hazard to your home and family. There is a chance that a snapped tree can shift or fall farther in any direction. Because of this unpredictable danger, we recommend that you avoid dealing with a fallen tree on your own, and enlist the help of a tree services team.
Removing the Stump
With a downed tree comes an unattractive stump that needs to be cleaned up. In dealing with this remnant stump, it is recommended to have it removed from the yard completely. Not only are tree stumps unattractive, but they are hazards that can be tripped over or accidentally mowed over, resulting in serious mower damage.
Stump grinding is one of the most common stump removal methods. The stump grinding process involves using a grinding power tool to shave away the remaining trunk, completely removing the stump bump and leaving shaved debris that can easily be cleaned up. Once this is cleared away, your lawn will be smooth and stump-free once again.
Rescuing an Uprooted Tree
If you have a tree that's been ripped right out of the ground but it's still intact, you may be able to replant it. Typically, if the tree is smaller than the height of your home, there is a good chance that a professional tree planting service can successfully save it. If the tree is successfully replanted, nurturing it back to health is crucial. Have a professional tree trimming service prune any broken branches, and make sure the tree is watered sufficiently to ensure a full recovery. For more advice on taking care of a recovering tree, consult a local arborist for the right care for your particular tree.
Not every uprooted tree can be salvaged, however. Since large trees have extensive root systems, considerable breakage can mean the tree is beyond saving. Additionally, a large tree may simply be too big or tall to be planted again. If you're unsure about whether your tree can be saved, consulting with a tree services company can help.