Ice & Snow Storm Damage

Preventing Storm Damage To Your Trees

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How to Protect Your Trees from Severe Storms

There is a strong call for action for property owners to ensure their trees are safe to withstand harsh weather conditions. In the last few years, with the changing weather patterns, residents and property owners have been plagued with ice storms, snow storms and high winds which break old and unstable trees. According to the Toronto Star: “Severe weather losses across the country reached a record $3.2 billion in 2013, according to figures released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The tab for insured losses from the ice storm that pummeled Toronto and southern Ontario in December of 2013 alone was $200 million, the industry group said.”. Many of these claims resulted from weak, old and unstable trees falling on homes, businesses and cars. There were also multiple people who were hurt due to falling trees and branches.

Weather conditions effect trees differently

The Real Tree Masters, 2013 Ice Storm Damage

Ice Storms

During an ice storm, a heavy layer of ice accumulates on the trees and branches, making it increasingly difficult for the tree to bear the weight of the ice.  If the tree or branch has any structural weaknesses, it will break, falling towards the weakest point in the tree. That could be towards your house, commercial building, parked cars or even your family. This can result in millions of dollars in repairs, or even worse, lost lives. It is critical that the property owners or tenants are regularly checking on the health of the tree or calling in a professional to do so.

Wind Storms

Unlike ice storms and snow storms, high winds could threaten old and unstable trees at any time of the year. If you have coniferous trees in your area, you should specially be wary of wind storms. coniferous trees have a shallow root system, which makes them very unstable to high winds. As an arborist serving the whole Great Toronto Area, we are experts in handling these incidences once they occur, but also focus on preventative care for removing trees which have a high likelihood of being affected by severe weather conditions.

Snow Storms

We’ve all seen some aggressive snow storms in the Greater Toronto Area. Through heavy snow falls, tree branches start getting heaver and weaker, and unstable trees can only support so much weight before starting to lean towards its weakest point and eventually collapse. During seasons of heavy snow fall, be sure to closely monitor the trees on your property to ensure that they are not leaning to one side. If they are, make sure you call an Arborist right away to avoid any damage.

How to Prevent Storm Damage to Trees


What You Can Do to Prevent Storm Damage to Trees:

  1. Do a close-up inspection of all trees you are concerned about.

  2. Locate any cracks in limbs or stem of trees. 

  3. Inspect the roots of your trees for any abnormalities. Uprooting happens often to coniferous trees.

    (Pine, Spruce, Fir, Cedar, Juniper, etc.)

  4. Make sure the tree canopy is not growing over buildings or close to existing structures.

  5. Trim all branches growing over buildings or close to existing structures.

    Trim to provide 2 to 5 feet of property clearance.

  6. Trim all dead branches and limbs of your trees.

    Dead wood breaks very easily. It could damage any surrounding structures in the case of a storm.

  7. Have an arborist inspect all your trees annually, for any potential threats or irregularities.

High Winds Tree Damage

Throughout the year arborists throughout the GTA get thousands of calls from clients in these emergency situations. Fortunately, many of these situations could have been prevented. By calling an arborist to come to your property and inspect your trees, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that when the storms hit, that your property and family is safe from unnecessary and preventable damage.

Some arborists charge a flat rate for tree inspection, at The Real Tree Masters Inc., we offer 100% FREE no commitment inspections. Our arborists can come out anytime of the year to inspect your property. Once you have decided which trees are safe and which are not, The Real Tree Masters Inc. can provide you with an arborist’s report to present to the city in case it is deemed needed. For FREE in person or over the phone consultations, call us today The Real Tree Masters Inc. Tree Service at (416) 272-3534.

Ref: Toronto Star: Ice storm pushed weather losses to record $3.2 billion: Insurance Bureau. Jan. 20, 2014.

We at The Real Tree Masters Inc. will be posting a new article to assist you with understanding the Emerald Ash Borer. Please stay tuned.

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