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Branches or Trees Down? Wrap.mp3

High winds associated with the remnants of Hurricane Sandy were not as high in southwestern Pennsylvania as had been originally feared but they still cause problems for some trees.  Arborist John Smith said a broken tree limb does not necessarily mean the whole tree has to come down.

Even uprooted trees less than 20 feet tall are not lost causes said Smith.  An arborist can often save the tree.

"Sometimes it's worth the cost to set the tree back up, guy and stake it if the area is secure," said Smith.  "It does take some follow-up maintenance to continue to get that tree to grow and re-establish the root system."

If insurance does not cover tree damage, the International Society of Arboriculture advised that landscape losses might be deductible from taxes.  The group suggested documenting damage with both photos and an arborist's evaluation and then consulting a tax professional. 

Smith reminded homeowners to approach or touch any downed limbs or trees unless they are certain there are no electrical wires in the area.  If there are wires down, call the utility company immediately.  He said chain saws are far too dangerous for the inexperienced--better to call an accredited arborist with liability insurance.