Storms and the Three Biggest Problems  For Trees

Storm damage to trees can be a very serious issue. What’s more, if the affected trees are on your property, you are personally liable if any further property damage or injuries occur. That’s why after a particularly heavy storm, it behooves the responsible homeowner to take the time to fully inspect the trees on his or her property. A tree doesn’t have to be entirely toppled over in order for action to be taken—even seemingly “minor” problems need to be taken seriously.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to look for:

  • Hanging or split tree branches
  • Impacted power lines
  • An uneven canopy
  • Holes or crevices in the tree trunk (perfect spots for pests to nest)
  • Frost heaving or other anomalies in the soil at the base of the tree
  • Tree leaning to one side

If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to contact a certified arborist immediately. A storm damaged tree can break and fall suddenly at any time. A certified tree professional can determine whether the tree needs to be removed or not.In many cases, the storm damaged tree can be saved. Here are some of the most common tree injuries and their respective remedies.

Broken Tree Limbs

  • Smaller damaged branches can be pruned away
  • Broken tree limbs should be pruned to the point where they join a larger branch
  • Any protruding strips of tree bark at the point of a break should be removed before smoothing down the wood underneath with a saw and/or sandpaper.

It may be possible for a vigilant homeowner to prune away smaller damaged branches that are nearer the base of the tree, but larger limbs, as well as any damage that is higher up, need to be taken care of by an experienced professional.

A Split Tree

  • Minor splits (like small paper cuts in the skin) will heal on their own
  • Deeper, gash like splits in an otherwise intact branch can be stripped free of the loose bark and sanded/smoothed. This helps to kick start the natural healing process.

You may be able to handle these cuts and gashes on your own, but more severe damage requires professional help.

Broken Tree Top

  • Under no circumstances should a damaged, uneven tree top be cropped even as this can leave it vulnerable to infestation.
  • If less than 50 percent of the tree crown is intact, it may be possible for your arborist to use shunts and hitches to support it as it heals
  • If more than 50 percent of the crown/canopy is damaged the tree will likely have to be removed.

Trees like people and all living things get injured. At times the healing process occurs all on its own or may be helped along by minor interventions. Other times, however, serious work and specialized expertise are required. You can think of your certified arborist then as a tree surgeon.
Do you suspect that your tree needs some serious help? Contact Happy Tree Service today for help with North Austin tree service, South Austin tree service,  West Austin tree service, or anywhere else in the Greater Austin area.

Don’t Wait for a Storm! Get Your Trees Trimmed First.

Springtime in Texas

Spring storms can be powerful. High winds can create a danger that could turn into a catastrophe the next time a storm blows through.

Tree trimming can minimize the risks. They use their skills to get rid of fallen limbs that can crush a roof or cause other property damage.

Evan Peters, of Happy Tree Services, says storms can have a cumulative effect. At one house, there’s damage to a tree in the backyard that hasn’t harmed the home, yet. But it could come crashing down through the roof the next time a storm blows through.

Now is the time to inspect trees around your home, not when the weather forecast is saying batten down the hatches.

You may think you’re safe, but there may be hidden danger lurking above in the branches, as homeowner Nick Koster spotted after taking the time to look up.

An Ounce of Prevention

“When I had Happy Tree Services come out and take a look at it, they were concerned as well,” Koster said. “Just because any wind movement could have shifted that branch and it would have made someone’s day suck eggs.”

Trees can also threaten to take out power lines if they are not trimmed back and kept clear.

While the power company will trim the area around the main power line,  the electric service that runs from the pole to your house is the homeowner’s responsibility.

“In this instance, we have a tree in this yard that has a broken, hanging limb,” Evan says. “It isn’t over the power service from the pole to the house, but it’s relatively close. I would advise everyone to look at that. That would be something that you can be proactive and prepare for, to try to prune some of that weight back over either the house or the power service.”

Most home insurance will only cover tree trimming and removal when a fallen limb damages a structure.

But Happy Tree Service will come out for free to evaluate the trees around your home and provide an estimate for trimming that can eliminate any danger.

Tree Branches Over Your Roof = Danger!

Tree Branches Hanging Over or Touching the Roof? Do This…

Trees in your yard are a thing of beauty. When their feathery leaves dance in the direction of the blowing wind. The change they experience each season, why they almost welcome you home each day.

Except when they hang over your roofline, then these things of beauty become a pest–a danger even.

Either way, here are some ideas how to safely fix your hanging branch dilemma.  It doesn’t matter how it happened: you bought the house that way, they just grew over time or when the trees within your neighbor’s property decide to come visit.

The Risk of Tree Branches Overhanging Your Roof and How to Prevent Damage.

What happens when tree branches hang over your roof?

Allowing limbs to hang over your home can be risky and harmful to your tree, your roof as well as your entire home.

For instance:

  • • Layers of asphalt and gravel can be stripped off when the branches of your trees scrape against the shingles of your roof on windy days.
  • • Leaks, deterioration or mold can occur when the leaves of the limbs of your trees fall onto your roof or in the gutter.
  • • It could be riskier when the limbs of your trees are weak, damaged or diseased. Wind or storms can cause limbs to come crashing down onto your roof.

Whose tree is the culprit—yours or your neighbor’s?

How did your trees become so unsafe in the first place? When you plant trees too close to your home’s foundation and don’t consider the dangers of their width and eventual height can cause.

It might be that your neighbor’s tree is trespassing the property line and hanging over and touching your home.

You have the right to trim tree limbs that extend onto your property, regardless of where the tree is planted.

Make sure to discuss with your neighbor before trimming and have in the back of your mind that you will be held accountable if any damage done to the tree.

How to cut a tree limb over your house

cut tree photo

The branches which are already hanging over your roof can cause a ton of damage and thereby should be seen as threats. Cutting branches inappropriately could further lead to more damage to your roof or your home in general. To DIY-it also poses a threat to you because you’ll have to climb to reach these branches.

It is dangerous to trim tree limbs hanging over your roof and any slight mistake can lead to more problems. Therefore, it is vital to have an expert handle the job. As a professional in this field, they can easily trim the tree and cut down the branches without causing any harm to your roof, home or in some cases, your neighbor’s tree.

Have a tree expert inspect the tree branches hanging over your roof today.

man uses chainsaw cut the tree

When to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

When to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Trees are important to our environment, our landscapes, and to our health. They supply us with shade during brutal Texas summers and oxygen year-round. Additionally, trees provide shelter to small animals and help clean our atmosphere. Since trees are so important to our everyday lives and to our world, it is important to take care of the trees and maintain their health by periodically pruning them. Hiring an arborist in Austin is the best solution.
Older oak trees generally require little attention. However, younger oak trees may take years to reach maturity because they tend to grow much slower than other trees. The key aspect to maintaining an oak tree is knowing the right time to prune the tree, especially if the tree has not yet reached maturity. It is equally important that you are using sharp pruning tools and removing less than 25% of the branch growth to reduce tree stress.

Worst Time for Pruning

The worst time to prune a tree is in the springtime when the Oak trees are more susceptible to diseases and fungi such as oak wilt. Oak wilt is a disease easily transmitted from tree to tree by beetles. When an oak tree is cut in the spring the cut will ooze sap, attracting the beetles and thereby infecting the tree. Generally, the worst time to prune trees in Texas is between February to June. However, this range greatly depends on your climate and the temperature.

Best Time for Pruning

To avoid the problems of oozing sap and attracting pests such as beetles, it is best to trim your oak tree in the middle of winter when bugs are dormant or frozen. Your oak is much less likely to contract illness and be infected by fungi during these times.
The winter time is also a great time to prune trees because it allows the tree to naturally begin the healing process. During the transition from winter to spring, sap begins to flow through the tree branches and seal the wound.
From a more technical viewpoint, pruning trees in the winter is much easier than during the fall or summer months because the trees will have fewer leaves. A tree with fewer leaves is much easier to trim because you can see what you are cutting.
Make sure to check your area’s weather forecast for the upcoming week or two. Texas weather is often extremely unpredictable and you would not want to trim your tree one day only to find out that a heat spike is just around the corner. If this happens to you, use a tree wound sealer (available at most retail home improvement stores).

Emergency Pruning

If your tree experiences damage or injury to a wind or lightning storm during the springtime, use a tree sealer to cover the wounds and prevent oak wilt.
Trees should be periodically pruned to maintain the health of the tree. However, there is sometimes a need to trim a tree because it poses a threat to others’ health and safety. Contact a specialist for tree trimming or tree removal if tree branches are hanging over a roof or dangerously close to electrical cables.