Anticipate and prevent tree damage caused by thunderstorms

Check for broken or rotting branches

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you have a large tree near your home, it’s a good idea to check for any weak or rotten branches before thunderstorms with strong winds hit your neighborhood.

Last week, a severe thunderstorm knocked down trees, some barely missing people’s bedrooms. And with more storms expected this week, people are concerned.

Gabrielle Russell of West Springfield told 22News, “We have lost power quite a few times, and I have this tree that hangs over my house, and we are always scared that it’ll fall.”

If you have a large tree in your front yard, you should inspect it periodically. You can start at the bottom, look for any signs of decay and continue to look toward the top.

What to watch for:

  • A tree that once stood straight, leaning at an angle, greater than 15-degrees.
  • Cracks or splits where the trunks meet.
  • Broken branches lodged in the tree.
  • Hollow areas where the branches meet the trunk.
  • And fungus growing at the base.

Falling branches also cause major power outages.

Senior Arborist at WMECo Calvin Layton told 22News, “We trim our system every four years. We have 3,400 miles of lines in western Massachusetts over 59 communities, and we provide clearance on that on a 4-year rotating schedule. So every four years you’ll see us in front of your house trimming trees.”

If you notice a tree getting too close to power lines, call your utility company. If you see a loose branch, call a professional for help so they can safely remove the branch.

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