Emergency Call: Wind Damage

Recently, our Portland area clients may have noticed the wind blowing upwards of 40 miles per hour…

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This birch tree is usually vertical.

… and a resulting spate of tree breakages around the city. When the storm winds rise – as they have done so regularly over the past week – do you often find yourself looking overhead at the trees lurching and swaying in the breeze and wondering just how safe you really are? Now, we don’t want to cause an alarm here and scare you into giving us a call to get your trees as storm-ready as possible. But that being said, here are some alarming photos to show you exactly why you should get your trees as storm-ready as possible:

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Last Friday we responded to an emergency call to remove a red maple tree that was in the process of splitting apart, directly over a heavily-traveled residential road. We secured the failing tree with heavy straps and blocked off a section of road so that we could safely remove the tree before it fell apart. As the project neared completion, the wind began to pick up and every tree in the neighborhood began swaying wildly — and moments later we heard a pop, creak, and a crash as a dead birch tree snapped in half down just two houses away. In the photo above, you can see how the broken tree landed just short of smashing our work truck parked at the end of the road. We were lucky: though we found some bits of debris that flew through the open window lying on the seats, the tree only barely grazed our truck.

Now… what if? What if we hadn’t blocked the section of road that day, and the tree happened to land on a passing car? What if we hadn’t been on site at that very moment to help clear the road of debris? Or more importantly: what if this long-dead and brittle birch tree had already been removed a long time ago, thus eliminating the hazard and ensuring that such an accident would never have occurred at all?

Just to reiterate, our truck escaping this incident unscathed was just a stroke of good fortune. Today, we responded to a call where blind luck wasn’t quite so forgiving:

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This sweetgum split apart in two places during yesterday’s high winds and landed directly on top of the client’s car. Fortunately, an ornamental Japanese maple in the front yard took the brunt of the impact and the car came out with only minor scratches. Sweetgums are notorious for having heavy, lanky branches that have a high potential for breakage unless they are regularly pruned for air flow and weight reduction. Could a proper pruning ahead of time have prevented this incident? Quite likely. As it is, the outcome could have been worse… and in the past we have cleaned up much, much worse.

And so, as is our habit, we would like to remind our clients of the importance of preventative tree care, to mitigate potential hazards before injuries and property damage occurs. Winter is fast approaching, and with winter comes rain, wind, snow, and ice storms. Autumn is the perfect season for winterizing your landscape, and Beaver Tree Service provides a full range of services to keep your trees beautiful and safe. And should disaster strike, our 24-hour emergency response line is always open! So as always, remember Beaver Tree Service for all your tree care needs.

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