If you have trees on your property, it's almost certain that, from time-to-time, branches will come down, especially during periods of stormy weather. Unfortunately, losing limbs can cause irreparable damage to trees if you don't know how to care for them post-injury. Here are some top tips on how to salvage your tree, should the worst happen and a branch comes down.
Although your first reaction to a fallen limb might be to approach the tree and check out the damage, you could be placing yourself in danger by doing so. There may be other branches ready to fall, or the tree itself could be structurally unsound. Wait until the weather has settled and the wind has dropped, then stay well back and evaluate the situation from a distance before venturing closer. Be aware of any creaking or groaning sounds emanating from the tree that could indicate a weak branch about to fall.
If the limb is very large, is still partially attached to the tree, or is at a height, the best course of action is to call out a professional tree service. They will have the right training and equipment to deal with the situation.
If the tree is small and the damage minimal, you could probably do the work yourself from the ground. Trim back smaller, damaged branches to the point where they join the main limb. This will prevent decay from spreading down the broken branch into the whole tree.
It's also important to remove any split or damaged bark; crevices and cracks in the bark can form perfect nesting places for insect pests that could infest the whole tree.
Professional maintenance work
Don't get carried away trying to tidy up the appearance of your tree. You can help your tree to recover and regain its former shape by having it pruned and maintained annually by a professional tree services company. They will also carry out an assessment of all your trees and identify any weak or diseased limbs that should be removed under controlled conditions.
A professional arborist will also be able to carry out cosmetic pruning to improve the shape of your tree's canopy, if required.
Healthy trees can continue to flourish, even following storm damage and limb loss. You can care for smaller trees yourself, but for those with very large, heavy branches, or where the damage is extensive, it's recommended that you seek the advice of a good tree removal and services firm.