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Storm Damage: It's a Keeper - Tree Planting and Care

1. It's a Keeper

If damage is relatively slight, prune any broken branches, repair torn bark or rough edges around wounds, and let the tree begin the process of wound repair.

Examples:

 

An Easy Call

A mature shade tree can usually survive the loss of one major limb. Prune the broken branch back to the trunk. In the months to follow, monitor large wounds closely for signs of decay. Learn how to repair and prevent future damage

graphic: Tree with one branch broken

Minor Damage

Although the tree has been damaged, enough strong limbs may remain to make saving it possible. Learn how to repair and prevent future damage

graphic: Tree with minor storm damage

Too Young to Die

Young trees can sustain quite a bit of damage and still recover quickly. If the leader is intact and the structure for future branching remains, remove the broken branches and let the tree close over the wounds and recover. Trees less than 15 feet tall that are leaning may survive if pulled back into place and staked for up to a year. Be sure to press out air spaces in loose soil. Learn how to repair and prevent future damage

graphic: Yound tree with damage limbs

Don't Try to Do It All Alone

Some of your trees may have damage that's too close to call, or may have hidden damage. You may need a tree professional to help you decide what to do. Don't hire just anyone who shows up at your door following a storm. Look for qualified arborists external link or contact your city forester.