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How to Assess Storm Damage for Emergency Tree Removal

By February 18, 2021Uncategorized
Storm Damage and Emergency Tree Removal

In March of 2019 Colorado Spring’s barometric pressure dropped to record lows and the historic bomb cyclone hit. Winds hit 90 miles per hour, the airport and I-25 closed, and hundreds of thousands of homes were affected by power outages and fallen trees and limbs.  Emergency tree removal became the focus of many homeowners as damage to property from trees ranged from fallen limbs to entire trees being uprooted and landing on homes and vehicles.

While the bomb cyclone may have been a freak occurrence, extreme weather is not unusual in the Colorado front range. It is likely for a Colorado Springs homeowner to have a tree emergency point in their homeownership. Most professional tree companies offer free estimates, so it is always worth it to get a professional opinion, but these are some things to consider when assessing storm damage.

Reducing Risks by Removing Broken Limbs

The most urgent emergency is the one that hasn’t happened yet and can be prevented. This applies most to broken limbs that are caused by wind or storm damage. Broken limbs need to be the first priority for emergency tree work after a storm because they have the potential to cause harm to people or property.

When assessing the risk potential for a broken limb consider where the limb is likely to fall. Is it possible for someone to be walking below it when it falls? Is it in a position to fall on a roof or vehicle? Or is it out of the way or low enough in the tree that the risk is minimal? Generally broken limbs need to be removed as soon as possible to avoid injury and damage to property.

Tree Removal is Urgent if there is a possibility that the Tree will Fall

If a tree is cracked, if it is leaning badly to one side, or if the roots are partially exposed or pushing up the soil, there is a chance that the tree could fall and cause damage. A leaning tree may look salvageable, but arborists will usually recommend cutting the tree down over trying to save it. If a tree is small and young enough to not cause damage if it falls it may be worth trying to stake it out to save it, but in most cases it will still only fall again. Once a tree is leaning the roots have already been compromised and it is unlikely that it will recover. Trees can cause quite a bit of damage when they fall so it is typically advisable to remove a hazard tree as soon as possible.

Managing the Removal of Fallen Trees, Limbs and Debris After a Storm

During the 2019 bomb cyclone entire trees were uprooted blown over in the fierce winds. Blue spruce was the most common tree because their thick canopies acted as a windsail. Trees and limbs that have fallen in a storm do cause a need for a great deal of cleanup, but in terms of the emergency triage after a storm, existing debris that has already fallen is typically a lower priority. This is mainly because the damage has already been done, and typically no more can be done.  Emergency services can be a good deal more expensive because tree companies will need to postpone other jobs, so that is something to consider when assessing the damage. Fallen debris that is blocking a road or a driveway may need to be removed right away, but a fallen tree in a backyard may be able to wait.

When in Doubt, Request a Free Estimate

Cleaning up after a storm can be an undertaking and figuring out what needs to be done most urgently and how much it is going to cost can be a stress. Luckily, most tree companies, offer free estimates so that you can keep your yard safe and know what you are getting into in terms of cost for emergency tree and limb removal. Emergency tree services can be more expensive, but a tree service professional will be able to advise on the level of urgency of a project and whether it is a risk or whether it can wait for a less expensive scheduled appointment.


At Precision Tree we offer free estimates and are always ready to respond to your tree emergency.


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