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Tree care after the storm

Tree lying on its side. Lower trunk is split open.

Homeowners may have experienced tree damage due to the recent severe storms. Extension has web resources that may be helpful in managing tree damage on your property.

Pruning, wound repair, and staking are all common practices after a storm. Make sure you use the proper technique for treating storm-damaged trees. Most importantly, be safe! Hire a professional if you need a chainsaw or ladder to do the pruning, or if there are any downed and potentially energized lines in the area of the tree. 

Pruning oaks now could put them at high risk for oak wilt disease. If any oak trees are damaged and need to be pruned, cover the wound immediately with paint or shellac. This prevents beetles from spreading the disease from infected trees. 

If your woods sustained damage, you can find a professional forester on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forest stewardship webpage. They can assist with timber sales or connect you with consulting foresters or other professionals for help. The Minnesota Forestry Association’s Call Before You Cut program can also put you in touch with a professional forester to find out if harvesting timber is right for you.

Lastly, it’s important to take care of yourself. Damage to your home or landscape can be hard. Learn how to manage stress and grief caused by big storms, tree loss and climate change.

Author: Gary Wyatt, Extension forestry educator

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