Courtesy of Felix Mittermeier

When the wind starts whipping, and the April showers begin to pour, are the trees on your property ready for the spring weather? We talked to Roy Hisler, district manager of Davey Tree in Bellevue, to learn more.

If you have tall trees near your home, what are some basic tips to help keep your home and family safe during storm season?

Before a storm, make sure to check trees. Look for dead wood or decay, cracks, and general poor tree architecture — excessive leaning of the tree, or branches growing out of proportion with the rest of the tree crown. Identifying issues before a storm can save trees and property. After a storm, walk around your trees, and look for broken branches, splits in trees, heaving soil, or visible roots. You can prune small, broken branches back to the point where they join a larger branch. If there are strips of bark protruding at the breaking point, remove the branch and smooth the wood with a saw. However, if you see large branches or branches that are too high up, call a professional.

If you have trees on your property, how can an arborist help you make sure trees stay healthy?

Regular inspection. Like people, trees need more than a one-and-done check-up with a doctor. The best way to keep you, and your trees, healthier is through small, regular actions all year. Proper pruning, cabling, and bracing. These are key tools in an arborist’s toolbox to ensure trees stay healthy. They also keep weak branches from falling. A slow-release fertilizer replaces lost nutrients. It also helps improve resistance to diseases and insects and helps trees withstand damage from storms. High-quality, organic mulch helps keep organic matter in the soil, conserves soil moisture, and provides weed control.