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Tree Talk: Storm Dangers

Stay safe from the storm. Trees present dangers to ourselves and our property in high winds and heavy rain. Here are some tips.

We're all preparing for the predicted storm, and I hope everyone is aware of storm issues concerning trees.

At winds below 40 mph, trees sway, but healthy trees rarely break. As winds rise, however, even healthy trees will start losing vulnerable branches.  By the time winds reach 55 mph or more, there’s danger from trees breaking (either branches or trunks) or uprooting. With the heavy rains that are predicted to accompany these winds, the uprooting danger becomes even greater, as the over-saturated soil loses its ability to anchor the trees. Even for the largest trees, roots are almost exclusively in the top 12” of soil.

Obviously this is not a time to be outdoors, and it may also be useful to think about what room you gather in to wait out the storm. During high winds, staying away from windows is wise, and it is usually safer to have an extra floor between you and the roof. Now is also the time to secure any furniture or loose items that are in your yard or on your porch (like Halloween decorations). You may also want to think about where you park your car. 

During a bad storm, tree crews – ours, municipalities, electric companies, and other tree companies – work nonstop. Our top priority is always your safety: responding to any situation where there is danger to people or property. Only after that are tree workers able to take care of the rest of the mess and problems that storms deliver.  If there is danger – a tree hanging on a power line, or threatening to come down on your house – call someone immediately.  To get up to speed on whom to call, visit our storm page to read our FAQ's.

Ken Almstead

www.almstead.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Peter October 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM
uprooting danger becomes even greater, as the over-saturated soil loses its ability to anchor the trees. Even for the largest trees, roots are almost exclusively in the top 12” of soil. Great point! Thank you.

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