Are Your Trees Ready for The Spring Storms?

We survived this brutal, record-setting winter – now to brave spring! Hopefully you have your severe weather plan in place, but have you taken the time to prepare the exterior of your home? It is much easier to prep your trees before a storm than to remove that 100 year-old oak tree from your living room.

Check out our helpful tips below to help you prepare your trees for springtime storms!

Things that increase a tree’s chances of blow over:

*Trees close to homes that have been built in the last five years or so.  Many of these trees will have root damage from lot clearing and home construction!

*Newly cleared areas with scattered trees remaining.  The trees have not adjusted to the newly open growing conditions and higher winds.

*Areas with loose, gravelly soil.

Characteristics that increase a tree’s susceptibility to storm damage:

*Included bark where large stems meet (maple and ash).

*Rot in the roots, stem, or branches

*Lopsided treetops. This includes trees with previous storm damage or Bradford pears.

*Trees with numerous small branches and twigs that create a sail effect. Topping and poor pruning often causes this.

*Mechanical damage and poor maintenance (soil compaction, damaged tree)
Homeowners should examine their trees long before a storm happens. Here is your to-do list when it comes to keeping your trees strong and yourself, family, and home safe:

*Remove trees with large cracks, splits, or severe root damage.

*Remove rotted tree branches.

*Advise the power company of any trees that have branches interfering with power lines.

*Contact a competent, certified arborist.

*Good branch angles are 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock; branches that are placed closer together are typically weaker and are more likely to break.

*Remove rubbing and broken branches.

*Prune properly – do not flush cut to the stem, but do not leave big stubs that will rot either!

Trees don’t have to be something you need to dread, though. In fact, there are several benefits to planting trees in your home as long as it is grown in the proper conditions and soil. Mark your calendars for Arbor Day this year on Friday, April 25 to plant your favorite kinds of tree in yard. After all, in the famous words of Lucy Larcom, “He who plants a tree plants a hope.”

Remember, with forces of nature, anything can happen. If a storm caused a tree or part of a tree to damage your home, don’t hesitate to call us – we’ll take care of you! Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to learn how we can help!