Winter 2020

The science of preserving nature since 1964

Winter Storm Damage Protection

In addition to tree weakness caused by co-dominant stems and included bark (discussed in another article in this issue), many tree weaknesses and defects may not be so obvious. It is always a good idea to have an arborist perform an annual 360° visual inspection of your trees surface roots, trunk and canopy. If your Almstead arborist hasn’t visited your property yet to do a seasonal inspection this fall, please schedule an appointment with your local branch office. Below is a slideshow of images from the storm damage caused by Isaias earlier this year. As you can see from the pictures, damage from trees during a storm can be considerable.

Storm Damage Clean-Up by Almstead After Tropical Storm Isaias

Some ways we reduce the chances of tree failure in extreme weather include:

  • Pruning: Removing dead and weak branches is a good start to ensure that they will not come down in a storm, for any tree. Larger size trees can benefit via selective crown reduction through branch-end thinning which can reduce wind resistance and drag that can reduce the chances of branch failure or an entire tree uprooting. This is especially true of large species trees like oaks, maples, tulips, lindens, elms, sweetgums, etc.
  • Cabling and Bracing: If your tree has some structural weakness, your arborist may suggest cabling and bracing as a way to preserve the tree rather than taking it down. These cables and bracing rods provide supplemental structural support and minimize movement in high winds. Identifying codominant stems with included bark and weak branch attachments is part of our arborists inspection routine and protocol.
  • Lightning Protection: Mature trees are particularly susceptible to lightning strikes — and even more so when located by large bodies of water. We install lightning rods that are inconspicuous and safe for the tree. If a tree is hit by lightning, the copper cables channel the current away from the tree (and any buildings and utilities) and into the ground where it can safely dissipate. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installation of tree lightning protection systems in large mature trees that are within 10 feet of a structure — and that they be installed by a qualified arborist in compliance with ANSI Z133 standards.

Please contact your local branch office if you think your trees need to be inspected.



Lower Westchester County, NY and New York City

58 Beechwood Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801



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547 Hope Street, Stamford CT 06907



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504 High Mountain Road, North Haledon, NJ 07508



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