Ottawa

Unhealthy trees easily damaged by storm: expert

Ottawa tree experts say homeowners should take better care of their trees to avoid severe damage in storms like the one that hit the area last week, bringing with it winds that gusted up to 100 km/h.
Part of a tree broken in high winds lies across the road blocking the entrance to a funeral home in Ottawa. (Courtesy of Chris Skaarup)

Ottawa tree experts say homeowners should take better care of their trees to avoid severe damage in storms like the one that hit the area last week, bringing with it winds that gusted up to 100 km/h.

Arborists say unhealthy trees are the first to be damaged in a severe storm.

"Well, like your grandmother always said, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,'" said Adam Murray, a certified arborist with the Davey Tree Expert Company.

Murray said homeowners often neglect the health of trees on their property.

He said he's getting a lot of calls since the windstorm from homeowners suddenly nervous about their trees.

"It amazes me how many people let it go to a point where the tree is now dead or rotten, and then they have a large hazard on their hands, and that if we have another wind storm, 'I don't want this to fall on my house,'" he said.

Murray added that it's less expensive to take out a dead tree than to wait until the wind takes it down and damages property.

He also cautioned against people pruning trees without knowing what they're doing.

"Too large a limb has been taken out, and the tree can't grow new bark to protect itself, and in situations like this, where we have high winds, weak sections of the tree are more prone to failure in storms," he said.    

Murray said his company is bringing in extra crews from southern Ontario this week to clean up the mess in the region.

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