Tree Care Industry Association’s Tips for Cleaning Up Trees Damaged by Tropical Storm Harvey

An easy way to find a reputable and professional tree care company in your area is to use the “Find A Tree Care Company” program by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on treecaretips.org.

Tropical Storm Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast hard. Federal, state and local search and rescue teams are operating 24/7 to reach those stranded in flooded areas. Once safe, local agencies will begin assessing the destruction. Until then, homeowners are still dealing with power outages, widespread damage and scam artists.

The National Weather Service said, “The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before. Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”

The Tree Care Industry Association, a national trade association of professional companies, urges homeowners to be safe and avoid injury during the post-storm cleanup. Your landscape may have sustained damage from fallen trees and limbs, but do not attempt to clean up this debris yourself. Hidden dangers such as fallen power lines and unpredictable tree mechanics can harm untrained civilians. As you assess your post-storm landscape, consider the following:

First, if a utility line is down:

  • Do not approach. Assume any downed line is energized.
  • Avoid touching anything near the downed line and make sure nobody goes near the line. Contact with energized lines can result in electrocution.
  • Be aware that downed power lines can be hidden in brush and foliage. Play it safe; call a tree care professional.

Second, when deciding whether to try removing a tree or large branch yourself:

  • Consider the size and location of the tree. If the work requires you to leave the ground or if the tree is more than 20 feet tall, call a tree care professional. Do not attempt any tree work from a ladder!
  • Examine the shape and lean of the tree. Inspect the trunk for decay, weak spots, hanging limbs, and for any metal or concrete in or around the tree. If any of these features are present, the tree is unstable and extra precautions need to be taken before removing the tree.
  • Carefully inspect the tree and the surrounding area for anything – utility lines, structures, vehicles, shrubs – that might interfere with the removal of tree pieces….

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