September 9, 2019 /
Jona Elwell

Post Storm Resources

We originally published this in 2015, but the information is still relevant and useful so we’re sharing it again!

Severe storms can cause significant tree damage. Here are some tips to better prepare your trees and mitigate storm damage:

Be proactive
Hire a certified arborist to inspect your trees and provide any necessary pruning before a storm hits. Certified arborists can identify and remove problem branches and hazardous trees before they are a threat to property or human safety. Tree removal is an especially dangerous enterprise and should only be performed by a certified professional. Hiring a certified arborist ensures that the contractor is not only trained in safe tree removal but will also carry personal and property damage insurance and workers compensation insurance. Find out how to hire and locate certified arborists on our website.

If you notice a street tree — a tree located between the sidewalk and street — with any damaged limbs or one that has completely fallen, call 311. Be ready to provide them with a street address or intersection where the damaged tree is located. For fallen or damaged trees on private property, the responsibility falls to the property owners. Contact a certified arborist so they can evaluate the tree’s structural stability, prevent or treat infection and/or provide restoration pruning or removal.

Practice caution
If a downed tree is in contact with or is within 10 feet of any power lines, whether on public or private property, immediately contact Pepco at 202.872.3432. Do not touch the tree, branch or wires.

Plan to replace removed trees
The adage is: if you remove a tree, you should plant a replacement tree in its place. Spend summer watering and caring for your trees but set time aside this fall — the best time to plant trees — to plant a tree. Our Tree Rebate or RiverSmart Homes Shade Tree programs make it possible to do so for little to no cost.