Storm damage, especially from high winds, can be the end for a tree no matter how healthy it was previously. Major wounds can weaken the tree and leave it open for infection, or a key breakage may make it impossible for nutrients and water to travel along the trunk. The following can help you assess your tree and make repairs just in case it can be saved.
Look for Dangerous Breaks
The first concern is if there are breaks along large branches in the canopy, since these can fall and cause injury or damage to those below. After verifying that there are no power lines near the tree, you can remove the large branches by sawing them off flush with the nearest healthy wood or the trunk. Consider hiring a tree service to handle this dangerous task if it takes more than a step ladder to reach the branch.
Manage Minor Damage
If most of the damage is small branches, then you can likely fix the issue and save the tree without help. Trim off the damaged branches flush to the healthy branch that they join with. You can use bypass shears to cut them off if they are thin enough or a small pruning saw if the damaged branch is thicker than your thumb. Dispose of all the broken branches so they aren't stacked around the base of the tree where they could attract pests or disease organisms.
Fix Bark Damage
As a general rule, healthy trees can usually recover from bark damage if it doesn't fully encircle the trunk. Most damage from a wind storm will be where a blowing object hit and peeled off a small amount of bark, or where a lower branch broke off and took some bark with it. Use a clean knife and trim the bark around the missing area so it has a smooth line. This smooth line allows the trees to heal more quickly than the ragged torn bark edges.
A damaged trunk, beyond the bark, usually means that the tree needs removed. Usually the lower down on the trunk the damage occurs, the harder it is to save the tree. A tree service may be able to trim off the top of the trunk if the damage is high up and there is plenty of healthy canopy beneath. The tree will be more prone to developing a disease problem, though, since the exposed wood near the break is more susceptible to infection. If a tree trunk splits or breaks lower down, your best option is for prompt removal so that the tree doesn't pose a hazard.
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