Trees are steadfast pillars of protection and shelter, but even the strongest of them are vulnerable to storm damage. Strong winds, heavy rain, and lightning strikes can all have detrimental effects on a tree’s health and stability. Luckily, crown restoration can be a great step toward rehabilitating a damaged tree, especially after a storm. This expert guide explains everything you need to know about crown restoration for storm-damaged trees, including how it works, the benefits, and when it should be considered. 

Understanding Tree Storm Damage

A storm-damaged tree with a broken branch

 There are a number of ways a tree can be damaged during a storm, and some of the most common ways include:  

  • Stem failure: the main trunk or stem of a tree breaks or snaps, which can lead to failure (falling) 
  • Root failure: the roots of a tree become compromised or weakened due to water-saturated soil, causing leaning, uprooting, or failure 
  • Branch failure: large branches or limbs break off from the tree, often due to high winds, which can cause property or personal damage 
  • Soil Failure: strong winds, saturated soil, and shallow root systems cause a tree to completely uproot 
  • Lightning: lightning strikes can cause significant splitting to the trunk and branches, often resulting in burn damage due to extreme heat 
  • Crown twist: strong winds cause the upper part of the tree, also known as the crown, to twist or rotate, leading to branch breakage and overall destabilization 

Storm damage can have both immediate and long-term health effects on your tree. When branches break off, it creates wounds that can leave the tree vulnerable to infection and decay. Damage to the trunk can result in bark loss, which exposes the inner wood to pests and diseases. Both can weaken a tree and negatively impact its structural integrity, so it’s always important to have an arborist address storm damage as quickly as possible to preserve its health.

What is Crown Restoration?

A certified arborist hanging from ropes in the crown of a tree using a chainsaw to cut branches down. The adult male is wearing full safety equipment.

Tree crown restoration is a technique that arborists use to help improve the health and appearance of a tree’s crown, which includes branches, leaves, and the overall canopy. This technique involves strategic tree pruning to stimulate new growth, enhance structural stability, and restore balance. 

Crown restoration starts with a thorough assessment of the damage. A certified arborist will evaluate the tree’s health, structure, and growth patterns to determine appropriate pruning techniques and objectives. This assessment may also consider factors like species, age, location, and environment.  

Once the assessment is complete, your arborist will carefully plan the pruning cuts required for optimal crown restoration. The primary goal is to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches that may be contributing to structural issues or inhibiting healthy growth. 

Every pruning cut is strategically made to encourage new growth in areas where it is needed, and to maintain the overall shape and balance of the tree’s crown. 

Benefits of Crown Restoration for Storm-Damaged Trees 

A professional tree surgeon cuts and trims a storm damaged tree in winter time

Crown restoration offers many advantages for storm-damaged trees, including enhanced safety, aesthetic appeal, and prolonged tree life.  

Enhanced Safety 

After a storm, damaged trees may have broken or weakened branches that pose a significant risk to both people and property. Crown restoration allows these hazardous limbs to be properly removed, reducing the chances of accidents or property damage. 

Aesthetic Appeal 

Storm damage can result in an unsightly crown with broken or misshapen branches. The trained eye and careful pruning skills of an arborist can help restore your tree’s natural symmetry, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your property. 

Prolonged Tree Life 

When a tree is damaged by a storm, it’s more vulnerable to diseases, pests, and decay. By promptly restoring the crown and removing damaged or diseased branches, the tree’s overall health can be improved. This helps prevent further complications and promotes the longevity of your tree. 

Sonoma County Tree Care and Crown Restoration Experts  

If your trees have faced storm damage or you simply want to enhance their safety and vitality, the team of certified arborists at Vintage Tree Care are here to help. With years of experience in the industry, our experts know the ins and outs of crown restoration and can help preserve the longevity of your trees for years to come. Contact us online today to request an estimate or give us a call at (707) 495-4686 to learn more about our tree services.