Even the sturdiest-looking trees can be brought down by high winds, heavy snow and ice, but there are ways you can limit the damage.
We asked experts on dealing with storm damage. Here is their advice:
Stabilize trees around the house by cabling or tying them down, especially those that you know have structural flaws.
Get to know an arborist or tree-care professional now. When a storm hits, youll likely be prioritized as an existing customer.
Get a pre-storm assessment to identify trouble spots. Decaying and leaning trees should be pruned, staked or removed, especially those threatening dwellings or utility lines.
Think safety during cleanup. The stuff on the ground wont hurt you unless downed power lines are involved. Its whats overhead thats dangerous. Stress fractures or dead and broken limbs can come crashing down and do serious harm.
Be especially careful when working with chainsaws. If a badly damaged tree is still standing, get professional help.
Patience can be a money-saver when dealing with ice or snow loads on trees. Wait until it melts and the weight is removed to see what kind of damage was done. Trees are resilient and are capable of bouncing back.
Plant native trees rather than exotics. Some varieties fare better than others in storms, especially trees with conical branching, those with strong branch connections and trees that are small when mature, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.
There is strength in numbers. Trees planted in groups survive better in high winds.
Learn how to assess damage. Trees that have lost a couple of branches of significant size but with trunks mostly intact likely can be saved.