Severe weather can take a toll on the foliage in your yard. If you find that high winds or heavy snowfall have caused your tree to split, then you may think your only option is to cut down the damaged tree and plant a new one. Saving a split tree is challenging, but it can be done if you are willing to expend the time and effort required to nurse your mature tree back to health.
Here are three tips that you can use when attempting to save a tree that has been split in a storm.
1. Determine how serious the damage is.
Before you attempt to salvage a split tree, you need to determine how serious the damage is. You should begin by looking at the way the split portion is hanging. If the split branch is hanging parallel to the ground but is not dropping entirely, this means the branch is still supporting most of its own weight and can be saved.
You can also check to see if the leaves have wilted on the split branch. If the leaves appear to be in good condition, then the branch is still receiving nutrients from the main body of the tree and can be saved.
2. Spend some time pruning.
Once you have determined that a split branch can be saved, you need to reduce the amount of weight the branch is bearing in order to facilitate the healing process. This can be done with some strategic pruning.
Remove any smaller branches that fork out from the main arm of the branch that has split from the rest of the tree. Pruning away these smaller branches will significantly lighten the load the split branch must bear, preventing further splitting as you try to get the tree to heal after it has been damaged during a storm.
3. Reattach the split branch to the main body of the tree.
After you have lightened the split branch's weight load, you need to reattach the split section to the main body of the tree. This can be done by using a few simple bolts to hold the split branch in place.
Be sure that you use bolts made from a metal that will not rust or corrode (like aluminum or copper) so that the bolt will not contaminate the tree as it heals. Over time, the tree will grow over the metal bolts, securing the split branch back in place and restoring the structural integrity of your tree.
Being able to salvage a tree that has been split during a storm will allow you to keep the mature trees in your home's landscape, despite any damage they may sustain during periods of severe weather. For more help saving your tree, contact a local tree service.