Storm Damage: When Is Your Tree Too Damaged To Bounce Back?

Posted on: 13 December 2017


Trees are the steadfast and stalwart part of your landscape, but sometimes a storm is too strong and after it passes, your trees show heavy damage. Many trees can recover from storm damage, but sometimes, the damage is too extensive for a tree to ever bounce back. 

Here are some signs that can help you know if a tree is too damaged after a storm. Then, you'll need to think about removing the tree instead of taking steps to help its recovery. 

Excessive Loss of Foliage

Trees use their leaves to make food for growth and repair. If a tree loses so many branches during a storm that it has about half of it's leaves remaining, the tree simply won't be able to meet the demand necessary for repair. It may try, but eventually, the wounds will not heal sufficiently and disease or insects will invade, further crippling the tree it the path to recovery. 

Damaged Central Leader

The central leader of a tree is the growth director. As the trunk thins into branches, the leader continues from the trunk straight up and all the other branches flow from it in some way. Trees without leaders have a strange appearance and they aren't as structurally strong.

When a leader is damaged, it opened the tree up for infection that can spread through the rest of the tree very quickly, as well as getting down into the trunk. When tree is broken off at the top, this is an example of leader damage. Bark loss or cracked leaders may be small enough to repair, but the tree is simply very vulnerable. A tree service should assess leader damage before you invest too much money into getting your tree back into good shape.

Splits Into the Trunk

Sometimes, a storm will cause large branches to break off, tearing down into the trunk as they fall. When the damage of branch breaking off isn't just a little bark loss, but actually a split where the branches weight has torn a portion of the trunk away, the tree cannot be repaired.

Trees heal themselves by sealing off damaged portions and putting growth energy into other areas. When a split occurs into the trunk, there are no cells present that have ability to heal and seal off the damage. Also, because the trunk conducts nutrients from the leaves to the roots and back again, core damage usually means significant portions of the tree will die fairly quickly after a trunk split occurs. 

Contact a local tree service for more help.