Although Summer has arrived, Melbourne weather still plays its role by confusing us to no end. The most recent confusion? Summer thunderstorms. This time however, the areas affected are greater than just Melbourne, rather, the Australian East coast. Throughout these storms, we are hiding away tucked in our warm homes whilst the trees are outside braving the storm. If your tree has been damaged by the storm, the worst case scenario might require emergency tree removal services. The best case scenario however, might involve some light tree pruning on your behalf. Below is a brief guideline you can follow after storm damage takes place.

Repairing storm damaged trees

  1.       Be smart and avoid areas that look dangerous

If your tree or any accompanying branches have knocked down power lines (e.g. Telephone, cable or utility wires), it is advised to avoid the areas at all costs. When trees are close enough or have been exposed to live wires they may carry an electrical pulse.

Take safety precautions by looking up and down. Steer clear of broken limbs that are hanging or caught in other branches overhead. Rather than risking your own safety, call a professional arborist to remove any branches damaged by the storm.

  1.       What you can do

If there are no immediate damages, there are some small actions that can be taken up by you, listed below.

Pruning broken branches

Removing the remains of smaller sized broken limbs is an easy repair after the storm. The basic rule for pruning smaller branches is to stop where they join larger ones. Larger branches on the other hand, are usually cut back to the trunk or a main limb. However, this work would require an arborist. Tree pruning will prevent disease and promote healing for the tree after any storm damage as light and air circulation will increase.

Don’t over prune

Over pruning can kill your trees so go easy on them! Trees are very quick repairers. Although, they might look a little wonky or uneven for a while.

Bind tree wounds

Torn bark and damaged branches leave trees vulnerable to rot and infestation. Where possible, smooth out these wounds by using either a chisel or sharp knife against the bark that has been torn away. This eliminates hiding places for insects. However! Be careful not to expose any of the cambium (greenish inner bark) as these layers are food and water lifelines between roots and leaves. If you have any confusion, contact an arborist just in case.

Don’t top your trees

Topping (lopping) your trees occurs when the main branches are cut back to stubs. Whilst this may seem logical under the assumption that reducing branch length will avoid breakages in future storms, it is wrong! Rather, it is one of the worst things to do as stubs grow back in the form of epicormic shoots and will be weaker than before. Topping also reduces foliage which limits the amount of resources trees can receive. After a storm, trees need all their possible resources to recover from the stress of any damage. Avoid cutting off branches to avoid unnecessary tree removal in the future.

  1.       Contact a professional

If you are unsure whether the job can be completed by yourself, always call an arborist for advice. However, if you identify any of the scenarios below, contact a professional!

         Tree crowns are uneven with broken limbs

         Roots are visible and have been wrenched from the ground

         Gashes or splits can be seen on large branches or trunks

         There is evidence of decay – holes or open cavities

         There are patches of bumpy soil

–          Root plate has lifted

For any advice, tree quotes or queries regarding tree removal services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Taylors Trees. Our arborists are ready to help save your trees.