Weak Trees Are No Match for an Indiana Thunderstorm

storm damageThere is nothing like a good thunderstorm to put nature’s awesome power on display.  Brilliant flashes of lightning, driving rains, high-speed winds, occasionally even the whirling vortex of a tornado.   With the intense energy that is packed in these storms, it is no wonder that they can do a lot of damage – to home, autos, and even trees.  While it is impossible to predict where or when a storm will strike, you can identify trees that may be more vulnerable to storm-related damage.  In general, any weakness in a tree can make it more susceptible to damage.  This weakness may be the result of previous damage, decay, structural abnormalities, or even environmental deficiencies.

Decay is a major cause of tree weakness.

When a tree experiences decay, some of its tissue is dying. Where once there had been strong, solid, living material, now there is soft, squishy, dead matter.  Obviously, this makes it less able to withstand any assault.  So what causes decay in the first place?  Decay can begin when there is a wound to the tree that allows the entrance of disease.  These wounds may result from improper bracing or pruning as well as damage done by a lawnmower or weed trimmer.  Improper mulching, overwatering, or inadequate soil drainage can also encourage decay.

Structural abnormalities can also make a tree vulnerable.

Trees with codominant stems, for example, can be more susceptible to storm damage.  This condition occurs when the tree has 2 or more stems that form the main trunk, each with approximately the same diameter.   While the tree may look strong to the casual observer, it is more likely to fail to withstand damage from a storm.  Another abnormality that can cause weakness is stem girdling roots. Roots at or just below the surface of the soil that partially or completely encircle the tree are known as stem girdling roots.  They take a toll on the overall health of a tree and often cause a weakness to form in the lower trunk.  High winds can cause the tree to then snap off at the weak point, bringing the tree down.

Many tree weaknesses can be addressed.

The good news is that many of these weaknesses can be avoided or treated.  First, evaluate the condition of your trees often.  Look for dead branches that need to be removed, places where damage has already occurred, and structural problems like codominant stems or stem girdling roots.  Second, leave major tree work to the professionals.  Rather than trying to prune your tree or attach needed cables or braces, it really is best to get someone who will do it right.  If you see a problem or just suspect that something is not right, call an arborist.  They are trained to know what to look for and what can be done to mitigate the problem.

The experienced staff of certified arborists at Ping’s Tree Service is happy to come out and take a look at your trees anytime.  Our experts know how to spot a potential problem and what to do to handle it.  We will give you a free assessment with any recommendations for treatment.  Call us at 317-298-8482 with your concerns or schedule your free assessment today.  We will help you protect your trees against the fury of the next Indiana thunderstorm.