Help storm-damaged trees

Friday, January 20, 2017

As people chip and shovel from under recent winter ice and snow, home owners and clean-up crews are cautioned to remember to be extremely careful when working around damaged trees.

Cherokee has lost many trees in the past due to wind, ice, and snow damage, or disease.

What's fallen to the ground is just part of the overall danger associated with damaged trees, as a storm can do damage high in the treetops, posing danger to people and property for weeks and months to come.

Potential hazards and tree problems are not always obvious to the untrained eye. Damaged tree limbs can split or break in the treetops, and branches of all sizes can come crashing down at any time, especially during ice, snow, and high winds. Paying attention to the treetops now can prevent further damage and greater property loss later on.

Tree care safety tips include:

•Do not try to do it all yourself – Never be tempted to use a ladder or an overhead chainsaw to remove damaged limbs. Hire a professional arborist for dangerous work such as pruning or removing trees, especially ones with large broken or hanging limbs.

•Assess the damages – Your tree should be evaluated for overall health besides just storm damage. If the tree is basically healthy and vigorous and if major limbs, branches, and at least 50 percent of the tree's crown are still intact, then there is a good chance for complete recovery.

•Beware of price gouging – Good tree work by qualified professionals is not inexpensive, however, poor work, no matter the price paid, can cost you a great deal. Professional prices should include liability and workman's compensation insurance, as well as bucket trucks and equipment.

•Hire only reputable companies – Ask any tree care company for proof of insurance before hiring them. A reputable company will have personal and property damage insurance as well as worker's compensation coverage.

Trees enhance the esthetic and environmental value for property owners. Taking proper care of damaged trees can restore them to their natural beauty and benefits.