winter garden

How to prepare your garden for a storm

Whilst many are still reeling from the effects of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis, it has left others thinking about how they can prepare for any more storms this winter and the spring may bring.

Whilst securing your house and loose garden items is a must, perhaps you hadn’t thought about pre-storm strategies for your garden trees.

Trees can become damaged by ice, snow and heavy winds during the winter months, and what was once a beautiful part of your garden , can become a safety hazard putting your property and the life of those in it at risk. There are a number of things to look out for to assess your trees for risk before an accident happens. Some may be fixed yourself, but often you may need to call out a tree surgeon or arborist.

  • Is your tree leaning?
  • Does it have loose hanging, hollow or cracked branches
  • Does the tree look to have any unusual signs of disease?
  • Is your tree hanging over your roof or is it near any power lines?

If there are minor problems, you can tackle some of these yourself, but if you are unsure or the job seems too big or risky to handle, call in the help of a tree surgeon.

Tree surgery is performed by specialists who will assess the tree, the risk to property and to humans and advise on the best course of action for them to carry out. Typical risk management strategies we undertake are:

  • Cables can limit branch movement, especially during high winds
  • Bracing supports twisting that can occur during storms or adverse weather conditions
  • Pruning can reduce wind resistance by removing dead, dying or hanging limbs – all potential threats to safety
  • If your property has one or many trees close to buildings, lightning protection systems can be installed to disperse lightning strikes naturally through the earth
  • “Topping” is not recommended for storm damage prevention as it causes long-term damage to trees


Although impossible to completely protect your trees and property from severe storms, regularly maintaining trees with tree management strategies like these is the best way to prevent loss and damage while mitigating risk.

Even if you routinely care for your trees, you should still have a professional arborist review your property for any issues after a severe storm.

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