With the recent storms still fresh in our memory here are some tips to save your precious trees after they've been damaged by the wind.
1. Assessing the damage. After the wind has died down it's time to inspect your trees, be careful when underneath broken branches as they can come crashing down at any moment. Check for splits or cracks in the main trunk or root uplift, as well as smaller broken branches.
2. Can it be saved? If a tree has completely blown over or the main trunk has been broken then there is not much hope of saving it. Lesser damage, like broken branches - or even if the top has broken off - means that it will probably survive providing there is a reasonable amount of leaf left.
3. Tidying up. Branches that are broken but still attached to the tree need to be removed. These can be under tremendous strain that is hard to detect, they can flick up when cut and cause injury so be very careful or if in doubt get in the professionals. Be sure to cut nice and close to the tree this leaves a tidy job and will allow the tree to heal quicker.
4. Prevention: As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, if you do have any large trees that are getting old or you do suspect they may be suffering from some sort of rot. It may be a good idea to take them down now to avoid a headache later on. Large trees such as Macrocarpa and Pine can be very valuable and you may be surprised at how much they may be worth as timber or firewood. The value in the timber often pays for the harvesting costs and in most cases leaves you with a small profit, more than enough to replant.
Happy Tidying, Euan
DIY advice for lifestylers, written by Kiwi Cattle Yards owner, Euan Seymour.