ISA: Ice storms can create tree stress, damage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Learn more on how ice storms damage trees


The weight of ice on trees can create stress and ultimately damage tree limbs.

The International Society of Arboriculture reminds homeowners that any parts of the tree that has fallen to the ground after an ice storm is only part of the overall danger when working around damaged and ice-covered trees.

The Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index is used to predict potential damage in an ice storm. A quarter to a half-inch of ice along with 25 to 35 mph wind gusts can result in excessive damage to tree limbs. That damage may not always be visible to the untrained eye, ISA warns.

"Tree limbs damaged in an ice storm can split or break in the treetops, and branches of all sizes can come crashing down at any time - especially during high winds," said Jim Skiera, ISA executive director, in a statement. "That's why trees should be checked from the bottom up - preferably by an ISA Certified Arborist - to determine the full extent of damage."

Trees may need restoration pruning or supplement support such as cables or braces after sustaining major stress after an ice storm.

Tips for hiring a tree service from the ISA:

Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, should be left to trained professionals.

Be sure to ask for proof of insurance, that covers personal and property damage and workers compensation, before hiring a tree service for the job.  

Don't hire someone asking for business door-to-door and offering reduced rates for tree work. Most reputable companies will not solicit work this way.

Never allow a tree professional to top your trees. Topping trees does more harm than good. It increases the tree's recovery time and makes the tree more dangerous.

Find a qualified ISA Certified Arborist in your area at ISA's website

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