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Tree Care Before and After Storms

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Spring isn’t always the pleasant season we hope it is. Spring storms can bring a variety of hazards to the country, from blizzards to severe weather. High winds and thunderstorms often bring down trees or branches.


So here are some suggestions from the experts at Henry Tree Co., based on our own research and current industry insights, for dealing with the impact of storms on trees.


Before the storm


Choose the right tree.

A tree species that is well adapted to your site conditions, including the amount of sun available and the type of soil, will be less likely to become stressed and weak and therefore less likely to be damaged by winds and storms. If you’re planting a tree, choose the right species or variety for the planting site.


Don’t plant trees near power lines.

Many power outages and serious accidents are caused because trees sway and interfere with power lines or trees or branches fall on them. Don’t plant a tree within 20 feet of a power line unless its mature, full-grown height will be less than 25 feet. If your tree will grow to be a tall shade tree, plant it at least 50 feet from any utility line.


Check for a sound structure.

A tree with a sound structure is strong and can resist the strain of bending in the wind. The best structure depends on the species of tree. For many large trees, this structure consists of a single central stem leading up to the top of the tree, with branches arranged evenly around it. Others may have a different kind of crown, as long as the overall structure is balanced. To learn what structure is best for your new or established tree, start by finding out what kind it is.


Prune trees when young.

The time to establish a sound structure is during a tree’s first few years. Start pruning a young tree in the winter a year after you plant it. For the majority of large tree species, make cuts to favor a central leader. In general, eliminate branches that reach the trunk at acute angles; sharp angles are weaker than wide angles. Keep pruning until the tree is too tall to work on with your feet on the ground.


Have trees inspected.