Summer storms often bring lightning, hail, and high winds with them — all elements that can lead to major tree damage. Fortunately, most trees can recover if you act promptly.
Remove Damaged Wood
Broken branches up in the tree canopy can be a hazard to those below if the branches were to fall. These branches also pose a hazard to the tree, as breakage can damage neighboring branches or even lead to a splitting trunk. Call a tree service to trim out any branches that suffered damage in the storm. They will ensure the damaged branches are cut back properly to a branch collar or a budding point. It's also important to trim back branches that broke all the way through so that there are no rough broken ends protruding from the canopy. A smooth cut heals much more quickly and cleanly compared to a rough break.
Attend to Any Bark Damage
Storms can lead to bark damage. Some of this damage can occur due to trauma from blowing debris, which rips off or cuts through the bark. Damage can also occur if a large branch breaks off and strips some of the bark off with it as the branch falls. As long as the bark damage doesn't completely surround the trunk, the tree can survive. A tree trimming service will trim the edges of the damaged area to smooth out the bark. This helps the tree seal the wound more quickly, thus reducing the chances of pest or disease infestation.
Anchor Weakened Tree
Some damage may weaken the tree roots or trunk. If the soil is churned up around the base of the tree, for example, root damage may make the tree unsteady. A tree service can properly stake the tree for additional support while the roots are healing. A split trunk can also weaken the tree. Fortunately, splits can often be fixed if they don't reach all the way to the ground. Your tree service will splint the trunk, either by wrapping it with a tree wrap to pull the split together or by permanently bolting the two halves of the trunk back together. Eventually, the tree can heal the wound.
Thin For Better Recovery
Storm damage weakens a tree, so some thinning may be needed. If the trunk suffered major damage, carefully thinning to remove excess branch weight while still maximizing the remaining leaf surface can stake some stress off the trunk. Branch loss can also lead to an unbalanced canopy, which is unattractive and leads to uneven weight distribution that can lead to a blowdown. Careful pruning and thinning will balance the canopy out.
Contact a tree trimming service for further help with your storm-damaged tree.