If you have storm damage to your tree, it needs professional attention. A Certified Arborist will assess the damage and determine how to best restore it.

Storm damage to trees can cause significant losses, including property damage and power outages. These events often occur at times when homeowners are least prepared.

Damaged Branches

When storms come to Tennessee, they can take a toll on our trees. But if you have the right storm damage cleanup, your tree can recover, heal, and regain its appearance.

To determine if a storm-damaged tree can be saved, you should look at the following questions: Does at least 50 percent of its crown (branches and leaves) remain intact? Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure?

If the answer is yes, then it may be possible to save your tree with corrective pruning.

However, you should not over-prune your tree or prune the damaged branches in such a way that they will exacerbate the damage.

This is called topping and can make the limbs that grow back weaker, making them more likely to fall during future storms. Additionally, it can cause other limbs to break further out from the trunk and create more damage to the tree.

Split Trunks & Cracks

Storms can cause a variety of damage to trees, including split trunks and cracks. These are generally the most serious and costly type of tree damage.

Fortunately, most split trunks and cracks can heal over time. This is due to a number of factors, including the health and strength of the tree, the ability of the tree to compartmentalize wounds and the skill of an arborist.

However, some tree trunks may need to be removed. This is a highly specialized and expensive process.

Another common problem is frost cracks. These occur in tree trunks when bark is exposed to freezing and thawing temperatures.

These cracks can be several feet long and a few inches wide. They usually occur on the south and southwest sides of trees.

Leaning & Blown-Over Trees

Trees can be very resilient, and a lot of them recover quite well. However, some storms can take a toll on your trees.

The best way to determine if your tree is damaged is to inspect it from a safe distance. Look for cracks in the trunk or major limbs, and make sure the roots are still firmly anchored to the ground.

This is a crucial step in helping a tree recover, Fichera says, because it ensures that the roots will have time to heal.

You also want to examine the roots of your damaged tree for signs of rot or other damage. If you notice air pockets around the root, it is a good idea to add soil and water it in until the tree’s roots are healthy again.

Damaged Bark

The bark of a tree is the outer layer that protects a tree from pests, disease and weather. It also helps transport food produced by leaves to the roots of the tree.

If a portion of the tree bark is knocked off, it exposes the inner layer of live tissue to insect pests and diseases that can lead to a decline in the health of the tree. This is not a good situation for any tree.

Wounds that penetrate into a tree’s bark damage the cambium, a thin layer of vascular tissue responsible for movement of water and nutrients within the wood. This opens the interior of the tree to fungi and bacteria that can cause decay and butt rot, which will weaken the structure of the tree and reduce its life span.

It is possible to save some trees with bark that has been damaged by a storm. However, it is a difficult process and one that should be left to a professional arborist.