Hurricane-force winds and other severe weather can turn trees into crushing giants to homes and property. The twisting winds of even an EF1 tornado can quickly transform our lovely oaks and maples into destructive monsters, as we often witness during spring in the Commonwealth.
On April 15, 2017, tornadoes touched down in Lynchburg and surrounding areas leaving significant damage. Downed trees pulled down power lines, closed roads, and cause damage to businesses and homes.
But even a little wind after significant rain can bring large trees down around your home, especially after a dry spell. Just take a look at the Shurtleff's double tree catastrophe in Charlottesville this April. Thank goodness their house was not damaged! If it were, their home insurance would take care of it.
You get the picture! And now the peak of 2020 hurricane season is right around the corner. Did you know Virginia was named by PropertyCasuality360.com as a top 10 state for significant hurricane damage last year with an estimated 409,000 homes at risk? And trees are one of the major risks for damage to your Virginia home.
Justin, our NNINS home claims expert, says there's not a lot you can do to stop the powerful force of a tornado or hurricane or the excessive rains that saturate the ground causing massive trees to topple. But you may be able to prevent damage to your home by picking the right trees, the right location, and taking proper care of them. It's also important to consider your neighbor. Things can get sticky between neighbors when a tree damages someone else's property!
Look for six basic warning signs that you've got a potentially dangerous tree:
- Mushrooms growing around roots
- Rain water pooling around tree base
- Leaning with cracked or buckling soil or exposed roots on the opposite side
- Hollow pockets, cavities or decay
- Signs of illness: lack of foliage or insects like carpenter ants at the base of the tree
- Signs of damage: exposed roots, peeling bark, deep cracks, partially detached or suspended limbs or stem tops
Destructive weather is getting more frequent and downright expensive for Virginians. While you may not be able to control the next round of severe weather that comes through, you might prevent damage to your home, property, and neighborhood. Keeping your trees healthy and taking care of the ones that are not are a great start!