Storm Damaged Trees

tree pile, pic monkeyFrom the front window of my office I can see a very sad sight, a large mound of tree limbs and dead trees from the storms last week. The thunderstorms that raged through Nebraska on June 3, hit us with hail, high winds, and tornadoes. These storms caused damage to many of our trees.

broken branch pic monkey

Many of our trees had very large branches break off of the tree. This is not a good situation for the tree to be in. The leaves that come off of the tree when a branch breaks were all aiding with photosynthesis, this can be a large shock for the tree when it loses all that photosynthetic material. It also leaves a large wound for the tree that takes time to seal up. If you can get to the location of the break, it is best to go in and clean that break into a good pruning cut. Some of the trees I looked at from the storm, had bark ripped all the way down the trunk of the tree, this is not a good situation for the tree to be in either. When trees have open wounds that are large, it takes a long time for the tree to seal up that location, if it can ever be done. This is a great location for insects and diseases to come into the trees and cause secondary effects on the trees.

Some trees were uprooted on one side of the tree. This is not a good situation for the tree as this caused a great deal of damage to the roots of the tree. According to John Fech, Kathleen Cue, and Graham Herbst from Douglas-Sarpy County Extension, the younger the tree is, the more chance it has to survive storm damage that caused it to lean.

  1. If the tree is 0-5 years old, it has a good chance to survive leaning and should be staked as soon as possible, as long as it is not closely located to people or property.
  2. If the tree is 5-10 years old and is leaning, there is a 50% chance that the tree will survive.
  3. If the tree is more than 10 years old and is leaning, it becomes a hazardous tree. If that tree is in an area where it is in close proximity to people or properties, it should definitely be removed. However, if this tree is on an acreage or farmstead and is further away from people or property, it may be able to survive in that location,
  4. With any of tree damage a Certified Arborist should be consulted to know for sure.

hail, pic monkey

The hail also caused a great deal of damage to our trees and shrubs. As the hail falls from the sky, it can rip through the leaves of many of our plants. Hail can cause holes through leaves and it can fray the edges of the leaves. Hail can also cause wounds on the trunk and branches of younger trees and shrubs, which would be a location for insects and diseases to enter the tree and cause secondary problems to the tree or shrub. There is not much we can do for hail damage to a tree or shrub. Most damage from hail is minimal and the plants can survive it.


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