What to Do After a Storm: Emergency Tree Care and Damage Assessment

What to Do After a Storm: Emergency Tree Care and Damage Assessment

Influenced by the Pacific Ocean and Cascade Mountains, the western region in the United States is wetter and milder. No matter where you live in Oregon, you are at risk of natural disasters like wildfires, heat waves, winter storms, and more. 

It is essential to take note of their aftermath as they often cause structural damage to properties. If you have trees on your property, tree management will be one of your significant issues. In this blog post, you will discover that emergency tree care can make a significant difference in ensuring public safety, mitigating further damage, and safeguarding the well-being of your trees. 

What’s the First Thing to Do After a Natural Disaster?

Safety First

After a natural disaster, before approaching any affected tree, you have to assess the area for immediate risks such as gas leaks, downed power lines, or other hazardous conditions. Make sure it is safe to approach the tree. Always prioritize human safety over the affected trees.

Evaluate the Damage

Examine the affected trees to calculate the scope of the damage. Categorize the damage based on urgency: trees that pose immediate risks require tree cabling or bracing and may be left for later assessment.

What are the Immediate Actions?

Removal of Hazardous Trees

Fallen trees on houses, vehicles, or power lines need immediate attention. Removing the trees may require specialized equipment and coordination with other emergency services, depending on the situation.

For Leaning Trees

Strong winds and rain may cause trees to rock in loose soil, which can lead to breaking or pulling roots out of the soil—extreme weather conditions cause trees to lean and fall. Tree removal is recommended.

It needs to be removed if it is leaning and has lost half of its branches. If this happens, you should call an arborist for a professional assessment.

For Cracked Trees

During an extreme storm, the wood may crack. All cracks are a significant problem that requires immediate attention. Snapped trees may fail at any time. It will develop decay, compounding the problem. In this case, trees are generally needed to be removed.

For Split Trees

Split trees happen when large branches break away from the tree. It usually creates large wounds that allow decay to enter, causing structural problems later. After a storm, walk around your trees to check if breaks, cracks, or twisted woods are spiraling around the tree. Take note of the severity of the damage.

Smaller splits or broken limbs are more accessible for the tree to seal. This sort of damage requires maintenance for years to come. If the tree does not close over the wound, have an expert or professional arborist examine it.

Ripped or Torn Bark

A ripped bark can result from a limb partially breaking and, as it falls, tearing the bark down the side of the tree. In some cases, you can smooth out a ripped or torn bark.

It is not initially a structural problem. However, it can create a hiding place and lead to insect problems or a breeding ground for fungus.

Stabilize Compromised Trees

Broken trees or weakened branches can be saved by implementing stabilization techniques. Tree cabling and bracing preserve the tree and prevent possible danger from falling branches.

Emergency Pruning

Removing broken branches will prevent further damage, like splitting, and lessen the chances of disease. However, ensure that the fundamental structure of the tree remains uncompromised.

What are the Long-Term Actions?

Long-Term Care

Once the immediate dangers are mitigated, hire a tree care service provider to maintain the condition of each affected tree. 

Root Care and Soil Management

Storms often cause soil erosion that affects the stability of trees. It would be best if you had professional arborists examine root structures. They will recommend actions to nourish and stabilize the soil.

Always Consult Experts

Always consider consulting experts in tree care for specialized guidance. Arborists can provide advanced techniques that will help you restore and maintain the foundation of significantly compromised trees.

What is the Importance of Precaution and Preparedness?

  1. Proper knowledge and consistent training equip your team to handle emergency scenarios more efficiently. Knowing safety protocols, advanced tree care techniques and emergency response are fundamental.
  2. Make sure that your equipment is in good working condition. You must have enough supplies for immediate response, like safety gear, tree cabling kits, and saws.

Emergencies after natural disasters are inevitable, but being prepared helps you mitigate damages. It can even save lives. The role of tree service companies is to help keep trees and ensure public safety.

If you are in a disaster-prone area with a property with lots of trees, ensure you have them in your contacts, like the Vernon Imel Tree Services in Oregon. You can check their services at https://vernonimelnorthwest.com/.