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Tree Damage Repair

A severe weather-related event can cause significant damage to the trees on your property. Learn how to repair trees that have become damaged in the aftermath of a storm to give them a fighting chance in getting healthy again.

Applying the right first aid soon after a tree has become damaged can make the difference between giving it a good chance at survival or losing it unnecessarily.

Safety first

Before attempting any tree repairs, check for downed power lines, fence wires, and low-voltage telephone or cable lines that could become electrically charged. Avoid doing repairs under broken limbs that are hanging or caught in other branches overhead as they could suddenly fall. If for any reason you don’t feel safe moving forward with tree repairs, contact a professional.

Follow these steps to repair tree damage

  1. Remove any broken branches still attached to the tree to help minimize the risk of decay agents such as fungus or other microorganisms from entering the tree’s wound.
  2. Cut small branches back with a pruning saw at the point where they join larger ones. Larger branches should be cut back to the trunk or a main limb by a professional arborist.
  3. Resist pruning back all the branches from a damaged tree to make it look normal again. Trees, when properly cared for and when given enough time to recover, have the natural ability to heal, grow new foliage, and return to their healthy, pre-damaged state.
  4. Using a chisel or sharp knife, smooth the ragged edges of tree wounds just to where the bark has been torn away. Don’t expose any more of the tree’s cambium, or greenish inner bark, than necessary. Smoothing the edges of torn bark helps the wound heal faster and reduces insect infestations.
  5. When pruning, don’t “top” trees. Topping trees involves cutting main branches back to stubs. Stubs tend to grow back weak branches that are even more likely to break when the next storm strikes. Tree topping also reduces the amount of foliage that trees need for healthy regrowth.
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