How you should prepare your trees before the next big storm

How to prepare your trees before the next big storm

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was a devastating storm that rolled through Virginia overnight Sunday, bringing heavy winds and soaking rains that caused trees to topple all across central Virginia.

“We have a lot of saturated soils which could cause whole tree failure. There have been enough wind where there might be broken limbs in your tree,” Michael Mather said.

The storm claimed the lives of three people.

Cathy Tyler, 78, was killed inside her Stafford home when a tree came down. The same thing happened to Lena Gaulding in Lunenburg County. Monica Tamoore Bolton was killed when a tree came down on top of her car while she was driving in Henrico

Michael Mather with True Timber Arborist says as springs continues, now is the time to keep an eye on what’s growing around you.

“Most trees are definitely starting to green and leaf up. If you have a tree that’s not, then it’s obviously dead,” Mather said.

Also be on the lookout for cracks in the trees.

“If you see any changes, a lean that wasn’t there before, something that’s different than it was - then it would be a good idea to get someone to take a closer look,” Mather said.

Oaks and Willow Oaks are popular trees in the Richmond area. Some trees have been around for up to 80 years or longer, a simple look up can make a difference.

“First thing I’m going to do when I look up is see the general form of the tree. Anything that looks atypical, branches going in funny directions,” Mather said.

Don’t forget vines and moss growing on trees.

“It can mask problems the tree might have if vines are growing up it. It can grow so much into the tree it adds weight and wind resistance to the tree,” Mather said.

At the end of the day, Michael says there’s no such thing as a perfect tree

“Every mature tree in Richmond has some flaw. It has to be a big enough flaw to surpass your level of risk for you to consider taking it down,” Mather said.

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