Storm Response: How to Handle Damaged Trees

Last weekend, an ice storm ravaged Southern Ontario. Freezing rain covered everything, and then the winds picked up. While many were smart and heeded calls from the OPP to stay off the roads, there were some who could not seek shelter—area trees. The problem comes when those trees can no longer hold the weight of the ice that coats them and they fail. The aftermath is many trees toppling. Worst case scenario—when they land on surrounding buildings or objects.

So what should you do in that scenario? If you see a city tree down in London, Ontario, contact the emergency dispatch number of the Urban Forestry Operation at 519-661-4965. If the tree is on private property, then you should contact a licensed and insured arborist. CLC Tree Services is here to help.

Tips for Dealing with Emergency Tree Care

& Storm Response

ice storm damaged tree

CLC Tree Services offers Emergency Tree Care and Storm Response

  • What questions should you ask tree services companies when dealing with emergency storm response?

– In any tree care, you should ask if the tree service provider carries WSIB, proof of liability insurance, is a member of any professional organizations (CLC is a member of BBB, ISA, OCAA), how long they have been in business (CLC opened 30 years ago), and if they have the proper equipment and training to deal with the job at hand.

  • How quickly can CLC Tree Services get to you?

– Call CLC Tree Services at 519-685-0257, 24 hrs/day when it comes to emergency tree care and storm response. We offer rapid response to any industrial, commercial or residential properties impacted by high winds and storm situations. We do our utmost to assess damages as quickly as possible.

  • How long does it take to begin work in emergency tree service situations?

– Before any work begins, we need to inspect the damages. A CLC crew member will look at your tree and assess the risk. Minor fixes may be done (temporary cabling or bracing), but the crew needs to be pulled from whatever job they are currently on and proper equipment for the task at hand gathered. In the case of major catastrophes, planned jobs are postponed and severe tree damage moves to the front of the calls.

In the aftermath of this week’s ice storm, we are still receiving calls and dealing with the worst of the damages as they come in. The tree seen above had a significant leader fall on a shed early Sunday. One of our crew inspected it within a few hours and propped up the limb to prevent the shed from being crushed, before a crew could return. Within hours, another huge section of the tree fell and landed on the roof of the house. Our crew worked for several hours Monday and Tuesday to remove and clean up the damages. The insurance company will tackle repairs to the home from there.

CLC storm response

During storm response, CLC asseses risks to determine how dangerous a situation may be

  • What are the biggest risks with emergency tree care?

– The main concern in any emergency storm response is to remove any immediate risks. Biggest risks include additional limbs, branches or the main trunk of a tree falling. As we assess risks, we try to determine how dangerous a situation is. While some damage may look bad, it may or may not be dangerous. In worst case scenarios, we may suggest a homeowner spend a night in a hotel to alleviate additional risk to life.

“Don’t go for a walk in the woods on a windy day. Remember that the emerald ash borer has damaged a lot of ash trees in our area. They are extremely brittle. Falling limbs are a real threat to human life.”

~Reminder from Owner Curt McCallum

As a home or business owner, the best thing you can do is to PREVENT storm damage from happening in the first place. While some things are unavoidable, proper tree care and regular inspections can prevent many emergencies from occurring.

Contact CLC Tree Services to book a tree inspection this year. We can assess, prune, trim, fertilize, cable and brace most trees to prevent tree failure. It is always far cheaper and less stressful to take care of your trees when not in an emergency.

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