(Chelsea Update would like to thank the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the information in this story.)
The intense storms of the past week around Michigan have left many homeowners with downed trees or branches on their property.
If you are involved in cleaning up storms, safety is a top priority. The same goes for the task of keeping Michigan’s trees and forests healthy.
“If the utility lines are down, stay away and notify the utility company,” Kevin Sayers, urban and community forestry program manager for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in a statement. hurry. “It’s important to clean up, but it’s more important to stay safe. ”
Once electricity and other utilities are restored, landowners will be faced with the question of what to do with the trees damaged by the storm. Here are some expert tips for common situations:
Trees and branches on houses and around power lines. Homeowners need to find solutions for the trees and branches in their home. Even if a hanging branch is free from power and utility wires, homeowners should rely on professionals to assess the severity of damage before attempting to repair or remove a branch.
Injured trees requiring climbing or chainsaw work. Call a licensed arborist for assistance. Arborists are tree care professionals who are trained to assess and work on storm damaged trees. They also have the experience to diagnose to what extent a tree can or should be saved.
Beware of those who offer emergency overnight logging services. Always ask for proof of license, insurance and professional references. Find more information about hiring an arborist from ISA-Michigan, the Michigan chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Keep pests in mind when disposing of wood. Wood left behind after trees have been damaged by storms can harbor insects or diseases that are harmful to forests. Moving debris out of the local area can unknowingly spread pests to new areas. Be aware that there are rules, called quarantines, that affect the transport of certain types of trees or branches that have been blown down by storms.
It is recommended to recycle or reuse woody debris from storms. Check out the national Don’t Move Firewood campaign for recommendations on seasoning and using local firewood.
Visit MNR’s Urban and Community Forestry webpage for tips on tree care and maintenance.
Michigan State University Extension offers additional guidance.
These illustrations from the Arbor Day Foundation can help homeowners assess the level of damage to their trees.