Tips for managing your trees following a storm

When ice accumulates on tree limbs, even a slight breeze is enough force to cause the limbs to come crashing down. As the ice melts it is extremely dangerous to be under or around them as they will be prone to cave due to the unprecedented amount of weight. The City’s contracted Arborist encourages residents to be extremely careful and refrain from attempting to knock down icicles or interfere with affected branches. Instead, let the ice melt on its own and stay inside if you can. It is unpredictable as to where branches might break or where trees will split and fall. Once the inclement weather has subsided, here are some things you can do.

  1. Inspect trees for broken branches that have detached and become tangled among other branches. If anything is touching or near a powerline, call the PGE Tree Hotline at 1-800-544-1794. Do not attempt to dislodge anything. Instead, wait until someone has inspected the tree and the area surrounding.
  2. If no power lines are nearby, you can remove small branches by hand. If branches are larger, however, they could continue to fall as they shift.  When in doubt, call a professional to help you. Here are some service providers our City Arborist recommends:
    International Society of Arboriculture – ISA qualified pruners in our area by zip code. isa-arbor.com

Bartlett Tree Experts www.bartlett.com 503-722-7267

Davey Tree Service www.davey.com 503-205-6383

Citywide Tree Service www.citywidetreeservicepdx.com 503-653-6873

Who not to hire?  Many people will take advantage of an unfortunate situation and target residents following a severe weather crisis.  Happy Valley does not condone door to door solicitors of any form.  Please ask for references and check out credentials just as you would any other business.

  1. Once the weather improves and damaged limbs are removed, it is wise to good pruning habits. This will encourage healthy growth and increase safety. There is a great article about this in the February 2020 issue of HV News. Head to https://www.happyvalleyor.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/HV-News_February-2020-reduced-size.pdf and check out page 6 for more details. Responsible pruning is essential.  If you don’t feel confident pruning, have someone who has learned about pruning help you or hire a professional to complete this task.  Do not leave it to chance.  Poor pruning cannot be reversed. Too much can cause the tree injures and lead to weakened branches.
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