HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa., Feb. 24, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — It’s late on Friday afternoon, and a Glenside homeowner is out running errands when her cell phone starts dinging with text messages. She checks her phone to find alerts from her neighbors: a tall Hemlock Tree has crashed down onto her house in the 60 mph wind gusts! She rushes home to find the massive tree trunk resting on the side of her roof. This homeowner wasn’t expecting to kick off her weekend with storm damage, but thankfully Giroud Tree and Lawn’s ISA Certified Arborist, Mike Chenail was able to assess the tree ASAP.

Giroud Tree - Rotted Trunk
Hidden Danger

The tree originally stood in the middle of a line of other Hemlocks, so what caused this one to fall while the others stood strong against the high winds? As it turns out, this tree was rotted through in the middle of the trunk! It’s hard to say what originally caused the decay. Rotted trees can be infected with diseases or infested with insects, or they could even have poor root damage unseen below the surface. However, preventative tree inspections with an ISA Certified Arborist could have alerted the homeowners to a problem before it became a disaster.

Preventing Storm Damage

High winds and icy conditions can strike at any time, and storm damage can be dangerous and expensive! Homeowners should check trees before storms hit. This is the best way to ensure the trees can withstand the crushing force of snow, ice and gusty winds that can send heavy limbs crashing and wreak havoc on the property.

There are preventative measures homeowners can take now starting with a visual check of the trees:

  1. Did the trees show signs of stress last summer? Premature fall color change, early leaf drop, abnormally small or pale leaves, or new growth that wilted are all indicators of a potential problem.
  2. Does the trunk have a cavity or signs of splitting? Scan the trunk and main leaders for holes (cavities), decay and cracked or split crotches.
  3. Is the bark peeling from the trunk? Gently pull on a piece of bark. It should not break off easily.
  4. Are twigs and buds developing normally? Scrape either a twig or bud with a thumbnail. It should be a healthy green, not brown or otherwise discolored.
  5. Is new growth surviving the strains of winter? Try to bend a twig. Does it snap because it’s dry and brittle?

If trees exhibit any of these signs, the homeowner can schedule an inspection with an ISA Certifed Arborist.

Some Trees are More Prone to Storm Damage than Others

If heavy snow strikes, take special care of trees like White Pines, Arborvitae, Bradford Pear and Birch. Before the snow gets too heavy, shake or brush it off shrubs and small trees to prevent breakage. All trees should be inspected, but these trees are more common victims and their branches can easily break under the weight of snow.

Prevent Storm Damage with an Inspection

To keep trees and properties safe, the experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn recommend homeowners do the following:

  1. Hazard Inspection: Have an ISA Certified Arborist do a root to crown inspection to identify hazards such as cracks, weak limbs, deadwood or unsafe root systems.
  2. Tree Removal: Dead trees are a hazard and must be removed. Winter is an especially good time for removals since the ground is hard and there is less risk of damaging understory plants and lawns.
  3. Winter Pruning: Two types of pruning are most critical in the winter: deadwood removal and reducing wind resistance. Selectively thinning branches helps the wind to move more easily through the tree and prevents uprooting. However, never thin more than 25% of a tree’s crown at one time. Additionally, dead branches should also be removed since those are the first to break in a storm.
  4. Install Cables or Bolts: Trees with multiple trunks or weakly attached limbs are prime targets for splitting. To successfully secure a tree, use a tree service professional with the knowledge required to select the best cable system for each tree’s specific situation and install it at the right tension and location in the tree.

About Giroud Tree and Lawn

Giroud Tree and Lawn specializes in tree service, lawn care and mosquito and tick control programs that make customers love doing business with the company since 1974. Serving Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, the company offers professional tree and lawn evaluation, tree pruning, tree removal, insect and disease control, fertilizing, stump removal, traditional and 100% organic lawn programs and mosquito and tick control. Giroud Arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and have the knowledge and experience required to properly diagnose, treat and maintain trees and lawn health.

The company is Accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association and Better Business Bureau. The “Giroud Treework for Charity” program donates free tree care services to parks, historical sites and other non-profit organizations located in the Company’s service area. For more information, visit the company website at or call 215-682-7704.

News Source: Giroud Tree and Lawn