Why Do Some Trees and Limbs Fall After a Storm?

Lately it seems like New Jersey has been battered with ferociously intense storms. When the wind whips through towns at speeds that would make Dorothy end up in Oz, you know that it’s almost inevitable some trees and limbs are going to fall down on to the ground.

Why do some trees and limbs fall after a storm? It often comes down to what arborists call “weak branch unions.”

Not to get too technical here, but there’s something known as an “epicormic branch.” These “water sprouts” form due to bad pruning and/or environmental stress. Unlike other branches attached all the way to the center of the stem, water sprouts are shallowly attached to a tree branch and have weak unions. They grow quickly and become heavy quickly. When a windy storm comes upon them, they often break off the tree, falling to the ground, because the underlying wood wasn’t able to support their weight.

If a tree has parts that are cracked or decayed, those parts may fall off a tree during a storm since they, too, have weak unions.

Weak branch unions also occur where branches and stems grow so closely together that bark is able to grow between them, inside the tree. This bark is referred to as “included bark,” and you’ll often find ash, maple and willow trees with this phenomenon. It’s not uncommon to find pieces of included bark, branches and stems on the ground after a bad storm.

Don’t forget that if lightning strikes a tree, or a very, very strong wind, or both, a tree may topple over and/or become uprooted, creating quite a mess in your yard.

Big Foot Tree Service of New Jersey is in the business of cleaning up and clearing out fallen tree branches and uprooted/fallen trees. If you need a reliable tree service to come to your yard and take care of business, call 973-885-8000.