Experts: Limit tree damage with maintenance

Patience is key in deciding what to do with trees wounded in the multiple storms that have torn through the area this season.

When looking at first aid for storm-damaged trees, Don Siffring, an extension horticulture aide with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Adams County, said homeowners should avoid making rash decisions.

Unless there is an immediate physical risk, he recommends taking the time to assess the damage and overall plan before taking action.

"Be patient before you start to work it over," he said. "You have to make sure you are assessing what you are doing."

Before cutting down branches, homeowners should make sure that the tree will remain safe.

If the tree is too close to a building or power lines, it may be best to remove the tree.

If a branch has been broken or split, he said, usually the best course of action is to cut it back to the nearest supporting branch or trunk. Splits are the most dangerous because they may not be noticed until they break. In the past, some tried to repair split branches, but Siffring said it only leaves weak branches that will fall in the future.

"Removing a split branch is always better than trying to repair it," he said.

To read more, see Saturday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>

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