Midwesterners know that feeling after a storm, with its howling winds and driving rain, moves on. There’s a moment when you go outside to see what was left untouched and what was in the path of destruction. Heavy rains, hail, tornadoes, and high-velocity winds can do a lot of damage to your property. This storm has left a trail of fallen trees, branches, and leaves all over your lawn. Tree clean-up and removing other debris after a storm can be confusing and overwhelming. So, if you do not know what to do or where to start, read this article and learn how to make your landscape look great again.
Tree Clean Up After Storm Checklist
Before you expose yourself to the tree clean-up and landscaping mess, make sure to wear the proper safety gear first. Proper safety gear includes hard hats, goggles, masks, gloves, and rubber boots. Additionally, remember to pace yourself because tree clean-up is not as easy as it may sound. It would be best if you are prepared with enough rest and sleep as well as a game plan. If you think you can not do it alone, ask for assistance from a family member, neighbors, or a friend. Just do not push yourself if you know you will not be able to do it on your own.
Assess the Place
Damaged trees are often tangled with utility lines which, if mishandled, can be life-threatening. After equipping yourself with the appropriate safety gear, assess the area and look for potential hazards that put you in a dangerous situation. If you see electric lines, do not touch or approach them. Contact your electricity provider immediately and allow them to assess the danger for you.
In such a case that you cannot clean it yourself, you can contact your home insurance carrier before doing any tree work. Several homeowner insurance policies will cover the cost of tree removal when structural damages have occurred. Moreover, if there is still ice or snow, wait for a few hours or days for it to melt before starting the clean-up.
If there is no danger from electrocution or snow, you can start cleaning up the trees.
- The first step is to remove the trees and branches that block access to your house or have fallen directly on your home. Pick up the small twigs, leaves, and other debris in the area afterward. If you feel guilty throwing them away, you can reuse them for different purposes. Dry branches can be used as firewood. You can look for workers that need them to turn into wood chips. The leaves may also be put to good use as you can compost them and use it as fertilizer later on.
- Look for hanging limbs up in the standing trees that could pose a threat to your home and family.
- Pick up small debris from the tree. Look carefully at where you’re stepping especially if you experienced an ice or snowstorm.
- Remove plants that have broken stems as they will not recover anymore. So, it is better to remove and replace them.
- Fix puddles on the lawn. Small or large puddles can hint that you have got a problem with water runoff in the area. Try to plant water-loving shrubs or trees around. These plants will help soak up all the excess water.
- If you’re thinking of saving your trees, know that there are some trees that cannot be saved or are not worth saving anymore. Trees with split trunks or those missing fifty percent of their crowns should be removed.
- Unless you have professional equipment and are adept at using them, significant tree damages should be left to professional arborists or professionals who offer tree service.
Recovering and Saving Trees
Trees are only slightly damaged if they sustained only a few broken branches or merely need light pruning. After a tree is pruned, its appearance will not look as perfect as it was before the damage. It might look naked or unbalanced at first, but it will still grow. Trees that are healthy and mature can recover even when several of their limbs are damaged. Eventually, it will return to its original state and its natural beauty will appear again.
If you removed a tree or several trees in your place, you might consider planting something new. Trees have numerous benefits and they can improve the value of your house.
Additional Source: Tree First Aid After a Storm – Arbor Day Foundation
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