Cleaning Up Yard Debris After Winter Storms Hit
Colorado’s winter storms can do a number on your landscape. Strong winds, heavy snow, and encrusted ice can snap branches, topple trees and blow plant debris and mulches across your yard and hardscape. The key to minimizing damage is a speedy cleanup. Here are some things to do.
Assess the Damage
As soon as the storm has passed, do a walk-around of your property to survey the damage. Take along a pair of binoculars so you can see onto roofs and into the tops of trees for any hidden damage. Pay particular attention to things like downed power lines and toppled trees. If any lines are down or threatened, stay clear and call for professional help immediately. Look at the area around the bases of trees. Freshly exposed roots or cracked or heaving soil are signs that the tree may not be stable enough to withstand the next strong winds or heavy snow loads.
Small branches and yard debris can be gathered or raked up for disposal. Most municipalities restrict haul-away to branches of a certain maximum size, so check to see if there are limits. You can cut small limbs with a hand saw made for pruning; larger branches may require a chain saw. Before tackling a big job with power tools, consider your skill level and fitness. You’ll enjoy your home more with all your body parts intact and functioning properly.
Use the Right Tools
As with any job, the right tools make the work easier and safer. If you’re up to it, even big jobs can be taken on. Log splitters beat hand axes if you have a bunch of new fire wood to chop, and stump cutters and grinders are better and safer than a pickup with a chain around the bumper. You can rent them for a lot less than months of physical therapy or a new truck. Just be sure you know how to use these powerful machines so you don’t end up like that poor guy in Fargo.
Call a Pro
Professional tree and landscaping services have all the tools necessary to clean up after a storm and the skills to use them. If you see any signs of potential trouble, or just want to reassure yourself that you haven’t overlooked anything, call a certified arborist to come have a look. They can assess the situation, diagnose problems, and offer remedies.
Sometimes, future trouble can be avoided with a professional trimming to rebalance a tree and make it more attractive in the bargain. Cables and braces can stabilize larger trees against storms and let them reestablish a strong anchoring system without danger of falling.
When you consider that attractive, well-maintained trees can add 10% or more to a home’s value, the cost of keeping them healthy and safe represents a good investment. And considering the damage a fallen branch or blown-over tree can do, it’s good insurance, too.
If you need maintenance of any existing trees or shrubbery, Donovan Arborists offerscomplete cable and bracing services, as well as planting, pruning, and shearing in the Denver area. We’re happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.