Saturday, 30 June 2007

Be Prepared, (to prevent storm damage)

The title of this article is the motto of a well known organization, and it should be your mantra when it comes to preparing for summer storms.

The first step in being prepared for summer storms is to take an inventory of you trees. Walk all the way around large trees that are within 100 feet of your home. Do they have any unusual cracks, bark tears or mushrooms growing out of the trunk? Damage to the bark and branches could indicate internal decay that could lead to sudden failure.

Some species of trees form weak unions where branches meet the trunk. If a branch is weakly, attached high winds could tear it from the tree and cause damage to your property and leave the tree damaged and unstable. Installing support cables early can reduce the chance of a catastrophic failure. If your tree has had support cables installed in the past you should visually inspect them. If they were installed more than 5 years ago you should have them professionally inspected to make sure they are not rusted and are up to modern standards.

Do the roots show any sign of disturbance? Cracks in the soil, heaving, lifting and tilting could be telltale signs of a tree that is starting to tip over. Soil erosion and drainage problems can leave many evergreens precariously rooted and subject to wind throw.

Trees along access roads, drives, garages and out buildings should be visually inspected before storm season and after major storms. Look out for hanging branches that may become lodged in the trees crown and not be readily apparent.

Electrical services telephone and cable wires should be cleared from branches and kept away from potential tree failure zones.

Treat all wires as if they were energized with lethal voltage. You never know what may have come in contact with the wires beyond your property. Always hire a professional who is qualified to work around electrical wires.

Mature trees close to buildings can act a a conduit for lightning strikes. The science of lightning protection can protect your home and save a prized tree. Large mature trees are a valuable asset to your landscape. The investment in a properly designed lightning protection system will pay off in the short run. Trees on large rocks or in open areas are particularly attractive to lightning.


An Interesting Video,

Most Certified Arborists will perform a storm risk inspection as a part of your annual property inspection. They will be able to address your concerns and point out items you may have missed. Be prepared consult your ISA Certified Arborist.

For more information on this subject or any plant health care related questions,

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