Living in Denver, we are no strangers to the damaging effects of snow storms. These storms can often cause significant damage to our trees, leaving them susceptible to disease and infection. This article will outline the steps you can take as a homeowner to help your trees recover from spring snow storm damage. We’ll also provide some tips on how you can prevent storm damage from happening in the first place!
After a Late Spring Snow Storm
Denver homeowners are no strangers to snow, but was anyone ready for the storm that hit in late May?!! Ten to twenty inches of snow was abruptly dumped on Denver neighborhoods as a late spring Colorado snow storm whipped through the city. The sudden snow and temperature drop caused stressed tree limbs to snap, reportedly leading to over 210,000 residents losing power.
While the storm was a pain for most of us, it caused some severe damage to trees around the city. If you have trees on your property that were damaged in the storm, there are steps that you can take as a homeowner to help your trees recover. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of tree damage the snow storm caused and how to help your trees recover. We’ll even let you in on our best tips for preventing storm damage from harming your trees in the future.
Types of Storm Damage
During the surprise spring snow storm, we all witnessed the dangers that compromised trees pose in a severe weather situation. That’s why it is so important to recognize storm damage and deal with it properly to avoid future issues. Here are some of the most common types of storm damage that trees in Denver experience:
- Broken tree limbs
- Leaning trees
- Uprooted trees
If you notice any of these signs of storm damage on your property, it’s important to take action right away. However, storm damage is not always immediately evident or noticeable to the untrained eye. For example, storm damage can also include:
- Holes or cracks in the trunk
- Splitting of the bark
- Damage to the root system
These types of storm damage can be just as dangerous as visible storm damage, and they often go unidentified. The first step is to call a certified arborist to inspect the trees on your property. A trained professional knows exactly what to look for. They can diagnose the severity of the damage and suggest appropriate steps for treatment.
Recovery Steps After Trees Break from a Storm
If snow storm damage is severe, it’s important to take the proper steps for long-term tree recovery. Here are some actions you can take as a homeowner in Denver to help your trees recover from storm damage:
- Assess the damage: Take a close look at your trees and assess the storm damage. If you see any broken branches, cracked bark, or leaning trees, it’s time to call in a professional.
- Call an arborist: As we mentioned before, the first step is to call a certified arborist. They will be able to properly diagnose the damage and suggest the best course of action for your trees.
- Create a plan: Once you’ve assessed the damage and called an arborist, it’s time to create a plan. This may include removing damaged branches, staking leaning trees, or applying mulch to protect the roots.
- Implement the plan: The final step is to implement the plan. This is where you will actually carry out the actions that you and the arborist have decided on. This may take some time, but it’s important to be patient and follow through with the plan.
Addressing Tree Storm Damage
One of the first things you’ll need to do during the recovery phase is trim any broken branches. This will help prevent further damage to the tree and also make it easier for the tree to regain its health. Trimming broken branches is very dangerous work, and it’s best to leave this to licensed and bonded professionals.
Next, address leaning trees. If a tree has been leaning after a storm, you may need to stake it in order to prevent it from falling over. The best way to do this is by attaching the stake to the tree using a wide, non-invasive strap. This will help protect the tree’s bark from damage. Staking the tree will help its roots to grow deeper and stronger, which will eventually allow the tree to stand on its own.
Once you’ve taken care of the immediate storm damage, you’ll need to start thinking about long-term recovery. This includes deep watering, mulching, and fertilizing. These steps will help your trees recover from the stress that the spring snowstorm caused. Tree stress occurs when a tree is unable to produce the necessary food and energy for growth. This can be caused by many things, including storm damage. These methods are very effective, but be patient because they can take years to help trees fully recover.
Preventing Future Storm Damage
Dealing with tree storm damage can be costly and time-consuming, so of course, you’d want to prevent it from happening if you can. Here are our top five tips for preventing future storm damage:
- Inspect your trees regularly, looking for dead branches or anything else that looks out of the ordinary.
- Prune your trees regularly to remove any dead branches that could fall during a storm and cause damage.
- If you live in an area prone to severe storms, consider installing storm straps or cables to help support your trees and prevent them from falling.
- Mulch your trees to help protect their roots and prevent them from being uprooted by high winds.
- Make sure your trees are well-watered. Healthy trees are better able to withstand storm damage than unhealthy ones.
Fertilizing to Support Tree Health
It is very beneficial to establish a fertilization routine for your trees. This will help them regain their strength and health. Fertilizing should be done in the spring and fall. For best results, have one of our experienced arborists develop a customized maintenance plan for your property.
Mulching to Help Trees Recover from Storm Damage
Mulching is another important step in storm damage prevention for trees in Colorado. Mulch helps to protect tree roots from extreme temperatures. It also conserves moisture and prevents weeds from growing around the base of the tree.
When applying mulch, be sure to use an organic material like wood chips or shredded bark. Avoid using rocks, as they can actually harm tree roots! Spread the mulch out in a three-foot radius around the base of the tree, avoiding the “mulch volcano” as you go. Refresh your mulch every year or so, as it will decompose over time.
Pruning to Help Trees Grow Strong and Healthy
Pruning isn’t just something you do when your trees are looking a little overgrown, it can actually help prevent storm damage too! Pruning helps to remove damaged or broken branches before they have a chance to fall and cause further damage. It also helps to improve the overall structure of your trees, making them better able to withstand high winds and heavy snowfall.
Watering For Preventative Tree Care
It’s important to water your trees regularly during the storm recovery process. This will help them to heal and also prevent further damage. Deep watering is especially important; be sure to water the roots of the tree, not just the leaves. The best way to do this is to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system. This will help to ensure that the water actually reaches the roots, where it’s needed most.
All trees need different amounts of water. This will depend on the species of tree, as well as the age and size. It’s best to consult with a professional tree care company to determine how much water your trees need.
Tree care is important year-round, but it’s especially important after a storm. Denver’s front range was hit hard by the May snowstorm, and our trees need our attention and care now more than ever. By following these steps, you can help your trees recover and prevent future storm damage.
Invest in the current and future health of your trees by calling one of our skilled arborists today! The road to storm damage recovery begins with a free consultation.