Jordan Blonski
Oct 27, 2020

What To Do After Severe Storm Damage In Seattle

The Pacific NW is entering its stormy season and if the winds these past couple of weeks are any indication of what’s to come, there’s a strong chance that you’ll have to deal with storm damage this season.

Yes, we’re all use to our storms and that’s exactly why we’re giving you a reminder of how to safely assess storm damage on your Seattle or North Bend property.  

Potential storm damage

Early fall can be especially dangerous as many trees have not lost their leaves and this creates extra resistance in the crown during strong winds.  This, coupled with heavy rains that soften the soil, can make even healthy trees topple. 

In higher elevations, heavy snow and ice are often responsible for bringing down limbs and power lines, causing damage to your home or vehicles.  So, what should you do after a storm damages your trees? 

Take safety precautions

Firstly, make sure you are being safe when assessing any damage.  For example, downed trees and branches may have come into contact with power lines or may be close to downed power lines.  You should stay away as direct or indirect contact can cause injury and even death by electrocution.  Also, call your power company right away.

Removing trees and/or limbs near power lines or structures requires care and knowledge.  Many of our staff are Line Clearance Certified, which means they have completed training in proper protocols and procedures for working safely near energized lines as well as related areas.

Broken limbs sometimes get stuck in the tree or may be dangling, in which case they can fall at any time and you don’t want to be underneath when that happens.  Also, trees and branches under tension may react unexpectedly when cut and our Eastside crews know how to safely deal with this type of situation.

Assess the damage

When evaluating your trees, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the trunk and major limbs unbroken?
  • Is at least 50% of the tree’s branches still intact?

If the answer to both these questions is yes, then there’s a good chance the tree will recover.  Of course, you should contact an ISA Certified Arborist for a professional assessment as there may be other issues not readily apparent.

Resist the urge to do it yourself

You may be tempted to do cleanup yourself though we urge you to reconsider.  Is it worth it to risk injuring yourself or causing further damage to your home or vehicle to save a little money? 

Large limbs can easily cause injury, especially if they are dangling overhead.  In addition, you probably don’t have the proper equipment (such as a chainsaw) and/or lack experience to use said equipment safely.  Best to let tree professionals do the cleanup.

Hire an ISA Certified Arborist

The ISA Certified Arborists at Eastside Tree Works have the knowledge, skill and equipment needed to efficiently and safely remove and/or prune damaged trees.  In addition, most of our arborist also have their TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification) meaning they have even more training in the identification and procedures needed to deal with hazardous trees.

If the tree can be saved, it will likely need pruning and that’s best done by a qualified professional.  Why?  Improper pruning may result in damage that compromises a tree’s health thereby affecting it for the rest of its life.

Free no-obligation estimates

The truth of the matter is that it’s often hard to tell the extent of the damage unless you’re a professional as there may be underlying or hidden issues that only a skilled arborist can spot. 

If your Seattle or North Bend property has storm damage, contact Eastside Tree Works for your free, no-obligation estimate.  We’ll quickly and efficiently remove broken branches and debris so you can return to life as normal.