Floods and Storms Effect On Trees in Real Life

By 20th September 2017Blog

We all know the effect that floods and storms cause on our homes and belongings but have you ever thought about what they are doing to your trees?

In the movies it can often be portrayed as much more extreme then real life but in the case of trees effected by floods and storms, what you see can often be more real than you think. When your roof starts leaking and your porch is flooded it is clear to see the damage a flood or storm can do to your property. However, when the cold winds blow and you’re tucked up in side, do you ever stop to think the damage it could be doing to your trees outside.

The Wind is the Worst

In most cases it is the wind that is the biggest problem when it comes to storm and flood damage. Combined with rain intensity, wind speed, direction and duration being other massive factors in the damage, it can often be the wind that really damages the tree and its structure.

Although trees can adapt to their surroundings and conditions, the changing of habits to meet these conditions can take years and storms don’t wait around.

Check out this news story from way back in 2013, where storms ripped through an area of Wales and destroyed numerous trees in its path. The BBC reported that it was “unbelievable nobody was injured” and that although it was a quick storm, the damage it caused was catastrophic.

How Do Floods Damage Trees?

In some places all over the world, floods can occur naturally and are a normal habit of the climate. The trees and shrubs in this area are used to the change in temperature, moisture and the surroundings and have learned to cope with their roots being submerged for a period of time.

The problem that happens with trees and floods is that they are either not grown in that climate and are moved there or they are being introduced into areas that are not prone to floods. In any circumstance where soil is waterlogged and overpowered by the sheer amount of water sitting on top and sinking down, the growth in that soil is bound to be effected.

When flood waters take over areas of soil, the soil itself is then waterlogged and compromised for any trees that could be also present there. Its ability to then sustain life in that growth is poor and can also lead to:

  • A lack of air in the soil that trees need to grow and live
  • Fine root hairs will die and almost drown in the water
  • Harmful gases are created leading to the death of main roots and also affect structural stability
  • The soil itself deteriorates and it can no longer hold the weight of the tree
  • The soil loses key nutrients and minerals leading to a lack of what the tree and growth needs and therefore the death of the tree

Floods have serious long term effects on trees no matter how long the tree is submerged in water for as it can take as little as three hours to starve the growth from oxygen.

How to Care for A Flooded Tree

If your tree is currently flooded or you are concerned about future floods in your area, then Treework Arboricultural Services have put together a list on how you can care for your flooded trees.

When caring for a damaged tree, it is always best to consult with the professionals to make sure you are giving your tree the right care. To get in touch just give us a call on 0161 456 0989 or 01625 850320.

  • Caring for your tree is highly important to give it any chance of future life and growth
  • Start by removing any deposits in the surrounding area such as sand or silt from the floods
  • Cover all exposed roots if the flood removed soil from the surface
  • Improve the drainage in the area so that it won’t occur again in the future
  • Add some more vegetation and organic materials to the base of the tree so that it can recoup lost minerals and nutrients
  • Make sure that no roots are damaged because in some cases, the tree might be best being removed and replanted

Get in Touch

To make sure your trees are cared for should a flood arise, get in touch with our team and call us today on 0161 456 0989 or 01625 850320. Our team work all over Manchester and Stockport to ensure that when the storms come and we experience flooding on a whole manner of scales, you are prepared for what is to come.

Treework Arboricultural Services sends our thoughts to those affected by the recent floods, hurricanes and storms known as Irma, Jose, Maria and all other freak weather occurrences.

Rebecca Blackburn

Author Rebecca Blackburn

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