Trees And Wind Damage: What You Need To Know

Posted on: 19 January 2021

It can be a relief to see your trees still standing after a major windstorm, but don't relax too much. Wind damage can lead to problems later if you don't address them right away.


One of the most immediate concerns following a windstorm is deadwood that is stuck up in the crown of the tree. It takes very little disturbance for a large broken branch to come crashing to the ground where it can cause more damage or even an injury. One of your first tasks following the storm is to have the tree inspected and have any large branches trimmed out, particularly larger ones that can cause damage to property or further damage to the tree. The fallen deadwood and broken branches littering the ground must also be cleared away, or they may attract pests to the yard.

Split Forks

High winds can twist trees, causing them to split. Whether it's a forked trunk or a larger branch that forks from the trunk up in the canopy, if it splits at the trunk then your tree has a problem. If the trunk is split to the ground, then chances are high that it will not survive, so it must be removed. Smaller splits can sometimes be repaired. If the split only affects a single branch, your tree service may simply cut it away. For trunk splits, the damage must be trimmed and cleaned. Then, the split is splinted and held together with either a tree wrap or bolts. With luck and proper care, the tree will seal up the wound over time and recover from the split.

Bark Damage

When wind tears off branches, it can also tear off quite a bit of bark, especially when larger branches are ripped off. The ragged strips of hanging bark make it difficult for a tree to seal over a wound, which then means the tree is more prone to infection and insect issues. Trimming the bark can speed healing. A sharp knife is used to cut out the ragged section of bark so that the edges of the wound are smooth and rounded. If a stub was left behind when the branch was broken off, it will be trimmed down to the trunk so that the tree can better seal the wound.

Broken Roots

Sometimes the damage isn't immediately obvious. If winds rocked the tree a lot, then roots may have broken beneath the surface. If the tree is leaning or if the soil around the trunk looks churned up, you may have root damage, and the tree may be in danger of falling. Your tree service can stake the tree to secure it until new roots grow in. They may also trim back the crown so that the tree doesn't have more mass than the damaged roots can support.

Contact a tree trimming service in your area if you are dealing with wind-damaged trees on your property.