Trees are one of the most popular landscaping features, and some homeowners won't even consider buying a home without mature trees. The question is how do we minimize the damage these trees can do to our homes and cars?
Many homeowners think if their trees have been there for 20 or more years, nothing will happen. That simply isn't true and with the varied and unusual weather patterns we've had the last few years, almost anything kind of tree damage is possible. Get tips to reduce your risk of tree damage like the photo to the right …
Planning and Planting Your Trees
Most trees will suffer some type of damage during their lifetime. That means you want to consider where you plant young trees and which trees you remove when it's time to thin out your backyard forest. To help your plan your landscaping, consider these tips:
- Don't plant trees to close to any buildings or wires that can cause damage if the tree or even a branch falls.
- Trees need a healthy root system so avoid planting on steep banks or shallow/wet soils.
- Some tree species are brittle like elm, willow, poplar, etc. Don't plant brittle trees in locations exposed to extreme weather.
- If your home gets ice and snow, avoid trees that hold their leaves late in the year as they're more vulnerable to ice and the weight can easily snap tree branches.
Need help picking the right trees for your home?
Maintaining Healthy Trees
There's never enough time but an ounce of prevention will cost you less than a pound of the cure. By including annual maintenance of your yard including trees, shrubs and gardens, you'll enjoy your home more and minimize the risk of tree damage during storms. If you don't want to do the work, hire a professional landscaper or talk to your lawn care service as these people are happy to help you keep a well groomed yard.
- Keep your trees and shrubs healthy by watering, fertilizing and mulching to protect the soil.
- Include annual pruning in your yard maintenance plan, getting rid of dead or weak branches before they break.
- Protect valuable trees with additional support. A professional tree service can install cables or bracing to support weak branches.
- Avoid excavating around tree roots which can weaken the trees.
Tree Care After a Storm
Inevitably one or more trees in your yard will suffer storm damage. It is important to treat the tree(s) to give them the best chance at recovering properly. First you need to prune injured branches to minimize how much woody tissue is exposed to the air. According to Montana State University Extension Services article, After the Storm: Caring for Your Trees, “… open wood is an invitation to pests and pathogens to enter the tree and cause further damage. Injuries cause by twisted and broken branches need to be trimmed in such a way that the tree is able to heal over the wound as quickly as possible.”