We haven’t had our first big rain of the season yet. You know, the storm that comes through and leaves branches strewn all over the sidewalks, alleys and roads? Thought it’d be a good idea to share some insights in how to identify branches and trees that may actually cause damage in a storm. Ready? Here we go…
Recently, we took a walk in a local residential neighborhood and found a couple of examples of potential trees to keep an eye on when a big storm blows in. Not only to maintain the health of the tree and the property value, but to also keep cars, fences, pets and people safe.
Looks like a neighbor started in pruning one of the trees in their median strip. It was a pretty healthy-sized branch, based on the cut up pieces lying right next to the tree. (By the way, the dog in the picture is Rosie.)
The queen of 50th Ave SW
Next up, a towering beautiful mature evergreen. Planted in the front yard and probably a beloved member of the neighborhood, this tree IS magnificent.
But do you see what else is in the picture? Here’s a hint, it’s in the lower right hand side.
The fence. The main property barrier next to the sidewalk, in this case.
There’s more to see here. Did you catch the power lines on the right hand side too?
So, why would the owner of this property want to be sure this tree stays healthy and gets regular tree cutting services? To preserve his property value, his fence (especially if he has kids or pets he wants to keep in his yard), and during the upcoming wet fall and stormy winter months.
Now, we couldn’t see the house from the sidewalk, but it’d be a good idea to check in on how the branches are growing in relation to the roof or the garage as well.
Part of the nature of a big rain, wind or snow storm is its unpredictability. So, if you combine this aspect, unpredictability, with a tree that has some brittle or dead branches, you may have a limb or two coming down at an angle you can’t really prepare for.
Then there’s force. If you are living in a place where you get lots of wind, the trees on your property need to be able to withstand it. To flex and bend with the wind, without breaking.
With snow, it can be a weight issue. Especially if that snow turns to ice. Heavy snow & ice packed onto a bough, when a tree is dormant in the winter can break the limb, and whatever is underneath.
Let’s take a look at another one.
Yes. The power lines are the main concern in this picture. Not on a day like today where there isn’t any wind, and the sky is nothing but blue. But let’s think about storm season for a minute.
The other concern here is how the branches are growing well out over the sidewalk.
Say, there’s a big wind and rainstorm. Now, it’s not likely that the powerline will come down on its own in a storm, but if a branch isn’t healthy and snaps, it could very well take down that line. That’d be a live wire, in a wet storm and a long heavy branch or two in the sidewalk, or maybe blown into the street.
The most dangerous part of that scenario? Yes. The power line. If you ever see that happen, you’ll definitely want to call the power company and report it for them to come and repair/remove. Don’t try to handle that yourself.
Best thing for you to do is to report it, give the address and share with your neighbors that you’ve called it in.
Your next steps
Take a look at the trees on your property. These steps are just to help you start to identify the trees you’ll want to monitor and keep in good trim.
- Have any trees been planted close to the house? Are they very mature or old? Are they so close to the house that there are heavy branches taller than your roof?
- Are any branches growing over your neighbors garage or roof?
What about the fences on your property? Which trees are closest to your fences?
- Does anyone in your home or neighborhood park a car under a tree on your property that has large heavy branches?
- If you identify with any of the above steps, you might consider having a professional tree service come and take a look at your trees, especially if you have no knowledge or record of tree cutting or trimming for them.
We see a lot of property damage in our work, from fences to roofs, to bbq grills, to sheds, to cars. So we want to help you learn to look at the trees you own so you can preserve them, protect your investment and keep your family and neighborhood safe.