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Check trees for storm damage, says expert

A national green service provider is reminding landowners of the need to check trees after a storm, following the treacherous weather conditions that have been sweeping the UK.

Arborists from Glendale have been called out to more than 200 tree-related emergencies and moved over 300 tonnes of timber since Christmas and New Year due to weather-related incidents.

Storm Eleanor hit parts of the UK in January, while Storm Emma and ‘The Beast from the East’ have also blighted the country, coinciding with the coldest winter since 1991 as blizzards, high winds and drifting snow caused collisions, gridlock and school closures.

Anthony Harper, arboriculture manager at Glendale says that while tree maintenance is important regardless of weather conditions, it’s imperative that trees are checked as soon as possible after a storm to prevent risks to health and safety and further damage occurring.

Anthony said: “It’s important to keep on top of tree maintenance all year round, but it’s especially pertinent during periods of bad weather which many parts of the UK have been experiencing lately.

“Make sure all trees, particularly mature specimens which are more liable to damage, are inspected from the ground up. After a storm, tell-tale signs of damage include root plate movement, cracks in the stem, weak forks and snapped branches.

“Look for cracks where branches meet and keep an eye out for heave in the soil at least two metres around the base of the tree which would suggest the tree is leaning. Cracks will usually form in the soil, another visible sign to be mindful of.

“Any trees with fungal fruiting bodies, such as Ganoderma, are particularly important to keep an eye on during and after stormy weather because they can weaken the tree.

“Landowners have a responsibility to monitor and maintain their trees, and while identifying any issues or signs of poor health is the first step, always consult an expert when it comes to moving, relocating and replanting trees.

“It’s a good idea to get them checked at least once every three years by a qualified tree inspector and follow any advice or recommendations they may give. If a big storm with strong winds is predicted it’s advisable to get an inspector out ahead of the bad weather, to assess potential risks which could be prevented.”

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