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Check trees for storm damage

RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Forest Resources is encouraging people to be safe by inspecting their trees for damage after the weekend’s storms, and for safety with future storms.
Although trees may look severely damaged, restorative pruning and care may increase the chance of trees regaining their original health and beauty. If the basic structure of the tree is intact, the tree may be salvageable.
Damaged trees should be inspected by a tree care professional. Hiring a reputable tree care service with a certified arborist is the best solution to professionally restore, maintain and prevent future damage to trees. Most tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.
Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Local tree companies will often note their professional affiliation in their yellow pages advertisement.
To learn more about certified arborists in your area, visit the International Society of Arboriculture at www.treesaregood.com, the American Society of Consulting Arborists at www.asca-consultants.org, or the Tree Care Industry Association at www.treecareindustry.org.
Tree topping is not a viable solution to storm damage recovery or prevention. The sprouts that occur after topping are fast-growing, weakly-attached branches that are more likely to break off in a future storm.
If you choose to do the clean up yourself, you should work with a partner, particularly when operating equipment such as chainsaws. If you are not familiar with chainsaws, you should consult a professional for your tree work.
If you use a chainsaw, follow these guidelines:
• Work only on the ground and always use personal protective equipment such as a hard hat, eye protection, chainsaw chaps and appropriate footwear.
• Keep both hands on the chainsaw handle at all times.
• Use caution when cutting with the tip of the chainsaw to avoid kickback.
• Cut at waist level or below.
• Before any work begins, survey the site for hazards such as downed electrical wires, leaning trees or broken limbs hanging in the canopy.
• If electrical wires are an issue, do not attempt the tree work.
• Contact your utility company and let them remove the electrical wires.
For advice on proper tree care and tree assessment following a storm, contact Rowan County’s Division of Forest Resources office at 704-216-8970.
You can also find more information by logging on to http://dfr.nc.gov/ and following the links to “Why Hire an Arborist” under the Urban and Community Forestry heading.

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