Thunderstorms with heavy winds blew across Georgia earlier this month, leaving homes without power and landscapes littered with downed trees and limbs.
There’s a way to clean up after storms safely and wisely, said David Dickens, associate professor of forest productivity with UGA’s Cooperative Extension.
“Prioritize your chores by starting to work on trees that endanger buildings and fences first with proper care, safety equipment and knowledge,” he said. “If you are hesitant or think you may be hurt removing downed trees, then contact a reputable tree surgeon.”
Don’t attempt to handle trees that overhang or touch power lines, he said. Call local utility company professionals for assistance.
“Large trees that have been uprooted have little chance of surviving because the broken roots that used to structurally support the tree are damaged,” he said.
Tackle unsightly, damaged trees next. He recommends removing severely misshapen trees and replanting a tree with better structure.
“Red and sugar maples, as well as most varieties of oak trees, are sturdier tree variety selections,” Dickens said.
Broken limbs that are still attached to tree crowns should be properly trimmed. Leave a pruning cut that is flush to the next larger limb or main trunk. There is no need to apply wound tar to the prune cut. Small trees that are bent over and have not straightened back up can be propped and then braced or cabled.