Tree companies urge caution with Friday’s thunderstorm chances

Drought left some trees vulnerable to high wind gusts
Local tree companies encourage caution regarding wind threat for Friday's thunderstorm chances
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - With the recent drought leaving some area trees vulnerable to exposure and damage, some local tree companies are concerned about the wind potential with Friday evening’s thunderstorm chances.

Not only have recent windy days downed some area tree limbs and branches, but a thunderstorm with wind gusts over 39 mph can also cause tree limbs and branches to go down. Once wind speeds approach 55 mph or higher, some trees can easily be uprooted. Jordan Odem, the owner of The Tree Doctor and certified arborist, fielded several calls recently of tree limbs and branches that came down. He certainly notices the drought’s impact on area trees while others remain resilient.

“A lot of our evergreen trees took a harder hit than others, Odem says. “Trees that were irrigated specifically for the trees - irrigation setup - those trees fared better than others. As far as what that looks like now, a lot of the softer wood trees are going to be the first ones to get damaged. A lot of the trees that have heavier foliage or heavier fruits or nuts still hanging on the branches, those are the trees that will take a hit as well. The heartier wood trees, the hardwoods versus the softwoods, do a little better in storms.”

The Tree Doctor and other tree companies offer homeowners, and commercial customers storm prep services. Odem says the preventative service can be quite thorough.

“We look through all of their trees, their condition below the ground to above the ground,” Odem says. “We treat some trees with some amendments to help condition the soil and provide nutrition for what the tree isn’t getting. We thin out the tree, sometimes, to allow sunlight and wind to move through the trees. We brace and cable weaker branches that maybe can’t be removed for one reason or another. We provide that extra stability with a cable and brace situation.”

For homeowners that don’t have time before a windy day or storms come on for preventative services, Odem encourages customers to inspect the trees on their own well before any storms come in.

“Go out before the storm and look up into the canopy of your trees,” he states. “If you see any dead limbs that may fall out during a storm, it’s best to move away from that portion of the house. If you have trees that you know are damaged, or that haven’t been maintained for quite some time, it may be wise to move to a different portion of the house.”

Plus, he says you can take simple steps to ensure your car or other property can be as safe as possible from any tree and wind damage.

“If you look up in your trees and you know you have some dead branches up there or something like that that can be dislodged during the storm, it may be wise to clear some space out of the garage and move your car inside or away from the tree.”

If homeowners sustain tree damage, Odem encourages customers to research when looking for a reputable company to assist in any cleanup.

“If you’re looking to have someone come on the property, check those credentials for them being a certified arborist,” says Odem. “You can check to see if they have proper insurance. Having proper insurance to be on your property is extremely important. You want to ensure the certified arborist that’s coming out will be properly insured. That way, if anything goes wrong, the worst-case scenario is they’re covered. You’re covered. There would be no second guessing if you hired the right person.”

For additional tips on caring for trees after storm damage and other information on searching for a reputable company for preventative maintenance or damage services, we have tips courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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