Posted on May 12th, 2015 by Metro Tree]
As you probably already know, our weather here in Texas can sometimes be unpredictable. Occasional storms and strong winds often leave homeowners with a downed or damaged tree that they are unsure of what to do with.
Before starting the project on your own, it is extremely vital that you understand exactly what you are working with. Here are eight tips for before and after storm damage tree removal in Houston.
Tip #1: Have a Contact Before the Storm
Planning ahead is one way to help ensure you are ready for any sort of damage. If you have any large trees in your yard, it is important to have a professional arborist in mind well before the storm. Not only can such a firm help you with tree removal should you need it, they can also advise different measures to take ahead of foul weather to limit damage during storm season.
Tree removal companies also get extremely busy during storm season. By forging a relationship with a company ahead of time, you can make sure you know exactly who to call should you have a damaged tree on your property that needs immediate attention.
Tip #2: Leave The Removal to the Experts
After a storm, many homeowners believe that tackling a tree removal project is easy enough to handle on their own. Unfortunately, this has led to dozens of people being killed each year by falling limbs, chain saw malfunctions, and other related incidents. Professional golfer, Greg Norman, even cites a tree removal chain saw accident as the reason why he’s lucky to still have one of his hands.
The point is, tree removal is a dangerous thing. If you are inexperienced, unsure, or the tree in your yard is large, the safest option is to leave the process to the experts. The cost of a removal service by an arborist pales in comparison to your health and wellbeing.
Tip #3: Consider Your Backyard Wildlife
It is important to keep local wildlife in mind before removing or trimming any tree in your yard. Birds, squirrels, rodents, raccoons, and even bees will take temporary shelter inside trees during a storm. For the best interest of you and the critters, pay attention to what has taken refuge before starting any tree alteration project.
Tip #4: Look Out for Utility Lines
Looking out for utility lines is another factor to consider when evaluating tree damage, both before and after a storm. Any branches that are leaning or touching power poles or wires could easily spell disaster in heavy wind conditions or shortly after a major weather event.
The best course of action to take if you spot this is to contact your local power company. They will usually send someone out immediately to look at the line and (in some cases) even trim the tree back off of the line. This is the safest and easiest way to ensure your safety and help prevent further problems from happening.
Tip #5: Be Aware of Loose Branches
Those in the tree industry call loose branches “widow makers” for a reason. They are incredibly unstable, dangerous, and could cause serious injury if they fall unexpectedly. Every year, hundreds of people are hurt or killed simply because they failed to pay attention to what was above them.
After a storm, it is important to look up to see if there are any loose branches in your tree that are stuck on other branches. Stay away from the tree and avoid parking any vehicles or equipment underneath. If you have any of these problem limbs, contact your arborist to arrange removal immediately.
Tip #6: Ask Your Tree Removal Company All of the Important Questions
Not just anyone is adequately trained to remove a large tree. It is extremely important to ask any company you hire all of the important questions before they begin work. These often include:
- Are they licensed and insured?
- What are their credentials? (TIP: Most certified arborists will be able to prove that they are registered with the International Society of Arboriculture or ISA)
- Do they have a list of references?
- Have they ever worked with a tree the same size as yours?
- How long will the project take?
- Do they provide stump removal and haul off services?
- Do their workers take safety measures–such as wearing hard hats–during the removal process?
You will also want to ensure that they will provide you with a detailed estimate before any work begins to help you make your final decision. All professional companies should be able to answer the above questions without any sort of hesitation.
Tip #7: Regularly Inspect Your Trees
It may sound silly, but taking a stroll through your yard occasionally is a great way to keep storm damage at a minimum. Regularly inspect your trees for evidence of disease, rot, animal damage, or anything else that could seriously compromise the stability of the trunk. If you spot anything that appears like a potential problem, contact your local tree company to arrange an inspection.
Tip #8: Take Measures Before a Storm to Prevent Damage
One of the easiest ways to prevent storm damage to the trees in your yard is to take measures ahead of time. Keep branches trimmed and appropriately cared for during all seasons of the year. Remove any dead or loose branches that may fall or cause additional damage during a storm. In certain cases, it may even be appropriate to hire a certified arborist to secure the tree trunk with suspension cables.
While it is always sad to lose a large tree in your yard, Mother Nature sometimes gives you no choice. Keeping these eight tips in mind is often the easiest way to ensure a safe, effective tree removal after a storm.
For more information on tree care in Houston, please contact our knowledgeable team or certified arborists at Metro Tree today.