Storm damage after a tree comes down on a house

Storm damaged trees

Dealing with storm damaged trees

Cleanup following a storm can be an overwhelming task for homeowners, and so is repairing storm damaged trees. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that knowing which trees to save and which to remove after a windstorm can impact people’s safety and the survival of their remaining trees.

Clean up

 Alliance Tree Care Inc. is the premier provider of trusted tree care services in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. We proudly serve your community with dependable tree trimming and removal services and have also been hailed as experts for caring for storm-damaged trees. Following are some of the Dos & Don’ts when addressing storm-damaged trees:

Storm damaged trees

Storm damaged trees : Do

  • Use caution when approaching damaged trees. If there are downed wires, stay clear and call 911.
  • Carefully inspect standing trees for damage and address hazardous trees first. Dangerous trees have detached or loosely hanging branches and split or cracked trunks that can cause injury or damage to property.
  • Remove trees if more than 50% of the trunk or live branches in the crown are damaged, the tree is unnaturally leaning, roots are damaged, or the tree could injure people or damage property. If you’re unsure if a tree should be removed or can be saved, consult with a certified arborist.
  • Assess the size of the tree and pruning job, and play it safe. Consult a certified arborist on medium and large branches or whole tree removal.
  • Use proper pruning techniques to remove small, broken limbs by cutting just outside the branch collar, but limit pruning to the minimum amount necessary to address safety risks. Too much pruning can weaken an already stressed tree – and many trees are stressed due to last year’s drought.
  • Ensure damaged trees get rain or are watered weekly to help them repair and rebuild. Be careful not to overwater, especially in heavy clay soils – the equivalent of 1 inch per week is ideal.

  • Monitor damaged trees in upcoming years to ensure they don’t decay or become a hazard.

Storm damaged trees

Storm damaged trees. Don’t:

  • Be rushed by promises of bargains from inexperienced or unqualified tree service providers. Ask for references and proof of insurance.
  • Repair a broken branch or fork of a tree with tape, wire, bolts, or other wraps. The wound will not heal, and the split will invite decay and further weaken the tree. A certified arborist should only perform cabling or bracing and be inspected annually.
  • Remove the tops of trees. This makes the tree more susceptible to insects and disease and promotes the growth of new branches that are weakly attached.
  • Apply paint or dressing to wounds, as these materials interfere with a tree’s natural damage sealing process.
  • Remove small, leaning trees. Trees less than 15 feet tall may survive if gently pulled back into place. Press out air spaces in the loosened soil. The tree can then be staked for up to a year.
  • Fertilize stressed or damaged trees. Fertilizers can trigger rapid but weak growth and deplete the tree’s energy reserves needed to recover from damage.


Information on tree care, proper pruning techniques, and handling damaged trees is available on the storm damage page of the DNR website. Contact a DNR forester, city forester, certified arborist, or county extension staff for more extensive information on tree care. The good news to all of us tree-huggers is that many trees are surprisingly able to bounce back. That said, make sure that you leave any larger jobs to a trained professional like Alliance Tree Care. We can safely and adequately help your tree if you need a chainsaw or ladder to do the pruning or if there are any downed and potentially energized lines in the tree area.

ATC MN working in the Shoreview Area after storm damage in 2019