The recent storms that hit the Chanhassen, Minnesota area left tree damage on many homes and vehicles. In assessing the damage in your area, you may have noticed that some trees were uprooted and others were not – even on the same block. But why does this damage mirror a game of roulette? There are actually reasons for uprooting; this damage is not chosen by luck of the draw.
Since healthy trees are durable, they are able to flex during strong winds. The opposite is true for unhealthy trees, which can be structurally unsound due to trunk and branch decay or disease. Unhealthy trees should also be pruned – which should be a rule of thumb in strengthening the tree – to avoid broken branches
If the soil has been particularly wet, this leaves room for movement in the ground. If a tree is young and has shallow roots, it can easily be toppled in windy conditions. Winds that are stronger than normal conditions can also affect how a tree withstands severe weather.
Tree Structure: Above and Below Ground
Aside from the tree’s health, the structure of the tree – both below and above ground – can affect how the tree reacts in severe weather. The height and diameter of a tree, crown size and root anchorage all contribute to the reaction. One or more of these factors can lead to a tree being uprooted during a storm.
The root anchorage is one of the most elements in the stability of a tree. In some cases, a root system will grow to a very shallow depth. This means that the tree will not be well-rooted and will be easier to topple. On the other hand, trees that are planted too deeply can grow stem-girdled roots. This happens when the flare of the tree is buried and the roots grow upward and wrap around the base of the tree. This causes the roots to compress and weaken. In addition to being a target for severe weather damage, stem-girdled roots will cause a decline in health throughout the tree.
Replanting or Removal
It may be possible to replant the uprooted tree, depending on its health and root damage. Replanting a fallen tree takes care and, in many cases, artificial support. Smaller trees are often salvageable in comparison with larger trees, which can experience massive root damage. If your tree has been uprooted and requires removal, contact Ostvig Tree Care. We have a team of certified arborists who have the knowledge and resources to safely and effectively remove the tree.
If you have had to hire a tree removal service and are looking to plant a replacement tree, consider these shade tree options.