4 Pruning Tips To Save A Storm Damaged Tree

15 May 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Storms can wreak havoc on your landscaping, and trees are especially susceptible to bad weather damage. Branches can snap off, trunks can split, and general damage can affect every part of the tree. Acting quickly with a few pruning cuts and damage mitigation techniques may allow you to save the tree so it doesn't have to be removed.

1. Damage Assessment 

The tree needs to be fully inspected by a professional before any pruning begins. This ensures that all damage is found and that the cuts can be planned so that the tree doesn't experience further stress. Your service tech will look for cracked or splintered branches, branches that are hung up in the crown, signs of friction damage, and damage to the trunk or root system. 

2. Branch Removal

Once the problem branches are identified, pruning can begin. First, any partially broken branches are trimmed back to their base, as are any that are now drooping downward and showing signs of internal damage. Branches that broke off completely but became hung up in the crown instead of falling must also be removed. Then, any branches that rubbed together and suffered friction damage in the wind will be thinned out. 

3. Trunk Repairs

Storms don't just damage the branches in the crown. The trunk may also suffer damage, especially if there were high winds and a lot of debris flung at the tree. Gouges in the bark are common, as are wounds where the bark was stripped off when a larger branch was torn free from the tree. Trees are able to seal their own wounds, but cleaning up the site speeds up the process. Your service tech will trim the ragged edges of the bark so they are smooth and rounded, which makes healing easier for the tree. 

4. Root Stabilization

Wet ground and high winds can result in hidden root damage. Shallow-rooted trees and those that have a small root system but a large crown are most at risk. Signs of root damage include a tree that develops a lean or a tree that has churned up soil around its base following windy weather. Your tree service will begin by stabilizing the trunk, usually by using a stake and cable system. They will then prune the crown to thin out some of the excess weight of the branches so that the damaged roots aren't overloaded.

Contact a tree pruning service if you have a storm-damaged tree you want to save.