Tuesday 23 March 2010

After the Storm

One day you will wake up and your beautiful landscape will be a shambles, a mess, a total disaster. It may look like a whirlwind has spiraled through your life's work or a groggy giant has

slept on your favorite maple. While it's unlikely that a mythical monstrosity has visited your yard,

you may very well have been visited by a storm or even a tornado. What you do next will have a lasting affect on your landscape and your life.

Our home landscapes contribute approximately 10% of the overall value of our homes. Even with

home prices stagnating, or in some areas declining this reduced percentage is a substantial investment. The action you take in the days and weeks following a major landscape disaster will pay dividends in the long run. Proper assessment and planing are the keys to maintaining and recovering the value in your landscape.

Making sure you have access to your driveway or the doors to your house is essential. Getting access safely may be a bit more difficult. This may be your only interaction with a tree that has fallen on your house, drive or valuable shrubs. Fortunately there are licensed,experienced and importantly these days, insured professionals who deal with these problems year round.

An assessment of the damage by a qualified ISA Certified Arborist is the right first step to take. Your Certified Arborist will safely remove the tree that is resting on your house and take the right steps to save trees and shrubs that are toppled or damaged. Certified Arborists and professional tree care companies carry special insurance that covers them for work on the ground and in the trees. Most landscape companies and general contractors are not insured to do work on trees or shrubs that are not on the ground or below six feet in height. This insurance is expensive, but it ensures that should any damage or injury take place while cleaning up your catastrophe your home and finances will not be at risk.

One may think your local Certified Arborist would be the busiest person after a storm event sadly, in many cases, its the doctors at the local emergency room. All to often this is the second trip a homeowner makes after they go to the hardware store and purchase a chainsaw.

Much of the clean up can be done by the do it your selfer but it is always worth while to consult with an experienced professional before you inadvertently do further damage in a rush to clean up. Most insurance companies will insist on getting a quote from a licensed, insured tree care professional before you remove that tree from your home or other structure. Take pictures for your records before you attempt any clean up. This can be very important, should questions arise on your claim. Many branches and even whole trees can be saved by the correct timely action of a trained professional. Certified Arborists are knowledgeable in issues related storm damage clean up and tree preservation. Take the time to consult with your Certified Arborist after you have a storm and your landscape will maintain it's value and be poised for recovery in the months and years to come.