Ask the Arborist: Why did my trees get so damaged in the recent wind storm?

 

Welcome to our latest edition of “Ask the Arborist.”  In this column, we aim to answer your tree and shrub care questions, and address current conditions we are seeing around town. Our goal is to help you learn more about caring for the trees and shrubs on your property, and recognize any potential problems. 

Why did my trees get so damaged in the recent wind storm? 

If your trees suffered damage from the recent wind storm, you’re not alone. The Denver Metro area saw varying degrees of destruction as the storm passed through town. From fallen branches to completely uprooted and downed trees, many property owners could not have anticipated the mess left behind in their yards.

It’s important to note that any type of tree can fall victim to storm damage, and there are many factors that can contribute to the instability of your trees, including:

  • Improper planting methods
  • Soil conditions
  • Compromised root systems
  • Disease and decay
  • Infestation
  • Poor maintenance

Should I be concerned?

Maybe this particular storm didn’t do much damage on your property, but what about the next one? Or maybe you’re questioning what will happen when that first big snowfall hits next winter. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of the trees on your property and examine them for possible weaknesses, such as:

  • Cracked or rotting branches
  • Sparse foliage in the crown
  • Unstable ground around the base
  • Leaning trunk
  • Signs of pests and disease
  • Lack of proper maintenance

What can I do to prevent future wind and storm damage?

Prevention and regular maintenance are the best plan of attack to protect your trees. If you want to avoid broken branches, downed trees and fallen limbs, proper trimming of the canopy can go a long way to prevent future wind and winter storm damage. Many homeowners undertake the risk of trimming their own trees and, unintentionally, leave them more vulnerable to damage than before. This can not only harm the long-term health of the tree, but can also be very dangerous.

Certified arborists, like those on the Fielding Tree and Shrub care staff, are specially trained in proper pruning techniques and safety procedures. We can help you identify problem areas and establish an ongoing treatment and maintenance plan.