Reality Alert: A summer camp experienced severe damage after a storm caused several large trees to fall. One tree landed on and destroyed a cabin and another tree struck the dining hall and caused major damage. Minor damage from branches occurred on numerous other buildings and structures. Branches also damaged several vehicles and one downed tree damaged a UTV beyond repair. In addition, the falling trees and branches caused the facility to be without power for several days resulting in a significant amount of food spoilage.
Common Damage Caused by Trees
Falling trees and limbs can cause a great deal of damage. Trees and branches that fall can cause damage to buildings, structures, vehicles, power lines, and even people. As seen in the story above, severe storms can cause a combination of these and have a severe impact on any organization. The following are just a couple of ways falling trees and branches can cause damage.
Buildings & Structures
The most common and often most destructive damage from falling trees and branches occurs when they land on buildings and structures. Falling trees and branches cause an estimated $1 billion dollars a year in property damage. While a good deal of this damage is unavoidable, some of the damage is preventable. The best way to prevent damage from falling trees and branches is to have an arborist thoroughly inspect your grounds, and identify and remove any trees or branches that pose unnecessary risk to any building or structure. While some trees will be worth the risk they pose, some trees, especially dead or damaged trees, can be safely removed in order to eliminate the danger they pose to surrounding structures.
Trees and branches can also result in power outages. During severe weather, tree branches can fall or blow into power lines disrupting their function. Loss of power can be severely disruptive to organizations and can result in closure, food spoilage, data loss and other damage. Arborists can identify trees and branches that could damage power lines and safely remove them before any outage occurs.
Trees and branches also cause significant damage to cars and other vehicles. Any vehicle parked outside is susceptible to the dangers of falling trees and branches. A qualified arborist can be used to identify any trees and branches that pose a hazard to areas where vehicles may be parked. Another recommendation is to park all vehicles indoors during severe weather, but that is not always possible.
Injury & Death
While rare, there are still reported cases of individuals being killed or severely injured by falling trees and branches. The majority of these deaths and injuries occur when individuals are in their home and a tree or limb falls on it. Injuries and deaths can also occur if individuals are outside during severe weather. It is important to be in a safe location during storms.
Road & Trail Closures
Downed trees and branches can also cause damage by blocking roads and trails resulting in restricted access. In an emergency, this can prove costly since it restricts the access to emergency response personnel. If any trees or branches pose a threat of blocking roads and trails, removing or trimming them is the best way to ensure that your facility remains safe and accessible.
Reasons for Maintenance
Trees and branches can require maintenance for a number of reasons. Hiring professional arborists to maintain your trees is not only beneficial to help protect your organization from falling trees and branches, but can also increase the overall health of trees. Arborists can help make sure all trees are healthy, growing properly, and free from diseases. They can also identify insect damage and treat the trees accordingly to prevent further damage and possibly death. The following are just some of the many reasons why working with an arborist can help protect your organization from damage caused by trees.
Remove dead or damaged trees and limbs: Dead or damaged trees pose the greatest danger of falling and causing severe damage to buildings, vehicles, property, and people. Dead or damaged trees and branches are much weaker than healthy ones and are much more likely to fall. An arborist can identify and remove all dead or damaged branches improving the aesthetics and safety of your property.
Remove dangerously located trees or limbs: Even perfectly healthy trees and branches can pose significant dangers and may need to be removed. Over time trees can grow in all directions and present serious hazards. Trees that hang over buildings, power lines, vehicles, and commonly traveled areas can all cause serious damage if they were to fall. The best way to eliminate this hazard is to remove them. Trained arborists can safely remove potentially dangerous branches without damaging or removing entire trees.
Treat Damaged Trees: Trees can often become afflicted with a wide variety of problems that can decrease their health and result in their death. Common problems include insects, disease, poor nutrition, rodents, and much more. Arborists are trained to identify what is harming trees and eliminate it before it can damage or kill the tree. Keeping trees healthy is a great way to protect yourself from damage. Healthier trees are the strongest and are much less likely to fall and cause severe damage.