Damage to a tree from a Storm
Treatment of storm-damaged trees requires wise decisions and prompt action if the maximum benefit from repair work is to be achieved. Repairs come in two stages: first aid for immediate attention; and follow-up work to be distributed over a period of months to several years. Care for damaged large trees is best left to professionals.
First decide if the tree is worth saving. Does the tree serve a needed function or does it have sentimental or historical value? If over 30 to 50 percent of the main branches or trunk are severely split, broken, or mutilated, the benefit of extensive repairs is questionable. If the trees are close to power lines, building or other structures, the tree should be removed by a professional. Extremely old, low-vigour trees might not have the ability to recovery.
Small trees which are uprooted should be straightened and staked immediately. Left exposed to sun and wind will severely damage any upturned roots. Remove any damaged roots or branches. Some staking or cabling may be necessary.
Damage to a tree from Lightning
Lightning strikes can cause various symptoms. They usually loosen bark which hangs in strips. The amount of bark loosened depends on the severity of the strike. The lightning bolt may have passed through the trunk and caused considerable internal wood damage that may not be visible. Damaged trees can die within a short period of time or years later following a period of stress.
Damage to a tree from Snow/ice damage
Snow and ice on branches can cause them to break or bend from the extra weight. High winds will compound the damage. The result is often misshaped plants from broken or split branches.
Do not be in a hurry to prune to correct plants bent out of shape by snow or ice. Often the plants will straighten up in a few days by itself. Broken branches, however, should be pruned as soon as possible. Proper pruning is effective in minimizing potential damage from ice and snow. Particularly important is the removal of weak, narrow-angled, v-shaped crotches.