Pruning the Storm Damage

Severe storms come and go and trees have adapted to them. Still, trees can sustain major damage. But with the correct pruning we can help accelerate their regrowth.

Recently storms played havoc with our trees. Limbs and trunks were tossed around like toys in a toddler’s playpen. What can we do to help our trees?

  • First, always prune to a bud or a branch. In other words, never leave a stub.
  • Second, use a sharp saw or chainsaw and make a clean cut that is parallel to the trunk. In other words, no rough edges, hinges or pyramids on the corners.
  • Third, always prune just back from the branch collar — the “swelling” or “donut” where two branches meet.
  • Fourth, paint all wounds on oak trees only. No need to worry about the wounds on elms, ashes, pecans, hackberries, mesquites, etc.

Finally, all municipalities have programs to assist in removing the debris. In San Antonio, call 3-1-1 or your city council office to know when they will be in your area.

Severe storms come and go and trees have adapted to them. With the correct pruning we can minimize the damage and accelerate the regrowth.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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