Winter is winding down, making way for the spring. As the atmosphere adjusts to this change, you may notice dark clouds rolling in on one lovely evening. The scene is eerily reminiscent of the last time a bad storm ravaged your yard, leaving you with a mess of branches to clean up for the next week.
You swore you’d never let that happen again. You told yourself you’d be prepared next time.
Then you forgot about it.
But luckily you wandered upon five tips to prepare your trees for this upcoming storm season. Dig up your umbrella, your raincoat, and join Wildcat Creek Tree Service in this brief lesson on planning ahead.
1. Select Your Trees Wisely
Let’s say you’re picking trees to plant on your newly acquired property, pouring over catalogues and hardiness zones. Before you become overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, consider these three guidelines:
- What is the height and growth rate of the tree?
- Where will the tree be planted relative to nearby homes, power lines, or other structures?
- Will the tree withstand strong winds?
As your search continues, consider keywords like “wind resistant” or “storm resistant.” Avoid trees that tower over nearby structures, and make sure the tree has room to grow to avoid root damage.
2. Check Your Tree’s Health
If your property’s plant life is well situated, you want to take the same precautions retroactively.
First, consider the age of your home and any construction work in the area. It is possible that nearby trees suffered root damage from recent projects. Trees left over from recent lot clearings are vulnerable to wind damage.
There are many types of tree damage to watch out for:
- Are the roots strong? Are they damaged by lawn mowing equipment or stunted by other structures? Mulching your trees will help to prevent root damage.
- What about the crown? Are your branches evenly distributed, or is your tree lopsided? This can cause your trunk to twist, putting the entire tree at risk.
- Do you notice your trees hanging low or cutting close with power lines, buildings, or other branches?
- Has your tree sealed off old wounds, or begun to rot?
Checking up on your trees will help you notice problems quicker, ensuring safety and encouraging tree health.
3. Prune Your Trees
If proper tree care is a recipe, then pruning is a key ingredient which can make or break the integrity of the whole. When you prune a tree, you are training it in a sense. The younger you train your tree, the stronger and healthier it will be as it grows.
The best time to prune is right now, before spring arrives in earnest and, in turn, its seasonal growth flush. So let’s set some ground rules before we fetch our shears and trudge out in the yard:
- Dispose of dead or otherwise weak branches that disrupt healthy growth and risk being detached by strong winds.
- Cut back any branches that hang too low to make room for pedestrians and nearby structures.
- Facilitate healthy growth by encouraging angles of 30 or 300 degrees, or alternatively 10 and 2 o’clock.
- As you continue pruning, make sure your cuts retain the structural integrity of the tree so your crown is even and well-adjusted.
Finally, make sure not to cut branches back to their stubs, as the branch will grow back weaker from that point. Also, never top a tree by removing its canopy.
4. Call a Tree Care Expert
To be absolutely sure you’re ready for this storm season, call a professional to double-check your work. There is no shame whatsoever in over preparing your yard to stand strong in the face of severe weather.
Likewise, if you lack the time or dedication to tend to your yard by yourself, it is even more important to contact a certified arborist with your concerns before the storm instead of after.
Luckily for you, Wildcat Creek Tree Services will answer your call no matter what.
5. Choose Only Licensed Arborists
With your cup of coffee, you step out onto the porch to check the damages. Perhaps you still feel a light sprinkling. Having taken the proper precautions beforehand, you are in an enviable position as you notice branches elsewhere in your neighborhood, strewn about in the street or other properties.
And perhaps you notice a couple fellas knocking on doors, offering to assess these damages for a hefty price. Be wary of anyone who knocks at your door offering tree services. A certified arborist will not do this.
If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to ask for an estimate beforehand, and do not pay any money until the work is finished. It may not be a quick fix you’re looking for, so don’t be afraid to take your time to decide the next course of action.
Wildcat Creek Tree Services is happy to answer any questions or assist you in your tree-related endeavors in Lafayette, Indiana. Give us a call at (765) 404-0938, or visit our website if you would like more information.