Complete tree failure during a storm happens in two different distinct ways. If the ground is very wet the tree can blow over with the root system rising out of the ground with much of the root system intact. This is generally a slower fall for the tree because the weight of the soil on the root ball slows down the tree falling. Often when removing these trees from structures - a house, shed or barn - when ample weight is removed the main trunk will stand back up straight almost to its original state. Many times the Evergreen trees even 30'-40' blown over can be straightened with ground anchors and live a long life. If the ground is frozen and there is a decay section in the root flair this becomes the weak point in the plant. This type of break is more of a snap with wind shear. Healthy trees with no structural defect in the root flair will snap with the proper amount of wind shear generally between 8'-15' above the root collar. The ground is frozen, the upper foliar crown has too much sail - foliage. The weakest part of the plant is where the Pre-Mature crown - branches were when it was a young tree. High wind shear will snap the main trunk of a tree at its weakest point. This type of tree failure is generally the most damaging.
Although Nature is unpredictable one thing for sure is that storm damage to trees will occur. Heavy rains, wind shear, snow and ice storms damage and destroy trees. The path of damage can be wide like a Hurricane or narrow and spotty during a micro burst. Forecasting weather is ever changing with modern technology. These days Massachusetts is even getting Tornado warnings. Everyone needs to listen to all local forecasts. These storms all have potential to damage plants , people and property. Two of the web sites we follow are Accuweather which we check daily because their radar is the best and we can get hourly forecast of when the rain is moving in. The second is Cyclocane, go to Storms - Active Storm names will be displayed with acess to current radar, satellite, wind speed, projected storm paths and a direct link to U.S. Severe Weather Outlook.
If a tree or a large part of a tree crashes down on your house during a storm you need to approach and evaluate the situation with extreme caution. Check inside the house for any visible structural damage first. The attic needs to be checked for roof penetration but more importantly look for damaged electrical wires that could start a fire. If you find damaged electrical lines shut off the main power source to the house. Call the fire department and ask them for help. If you are elderly call the fire department and tell them you have concerns about electrical wires being damaged by the tree that fell on your house. Most fire departments are very good with this type of situation. Do not go outside until the danger has past. Meaning the high winds have passed and day light has occurred. The darkness of night will only hide hazards that could be life threatening. Look for any downed lines. Treat all downed lines as if they were live with electricity. In most storm damage situations the power lines have to be dealt with prior to any tree or branch removal.
Safe Tree removal
Storm damaged trees are the most hazardous for any experienced tree worker or home owner to deal with. There are many hidden hazards. Wind shear creates many different binds on branches that can fool the most professional tree worker. Home owners thinking they can save money are most likely to end up with some type of injury, property damage or death. This is serious work and should be left to the professionals. How do you know they are professionals? A professional will never knock on your door to solicit work. Contact a Tree Company that can provide you with proof of insurance. Otherwise you are putting your property at risk.