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DNR offers cleanup tips for storm-damaged trees

High winds and heavy rain from storms in Lower Michigan have left some homeowners with injured trees or broken branches, which can be hazardous. Safety is an important concern when dealing with storm cleanup.

Broken tree limbs located near power lines or lying on your home should always be dealt with by professionals. Experts should also handle any hanging branches and limbs you can’t reach from the ground. Stay away from debris tangled in power lines and immediately notify your utility company of the situation.

"After hazardous limbs are addressed, proper pruning and care of injured trees are important for safety and for the long-term health of the trees," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources urban forester Lawrence Sobson.

For other common storm debris situations:

  • Get expert help for climbing or chainsaw work. Licensed arborists are tree care professionals trained to assess storm-damaged trees; they have the experience needed to determine how much of a tree can or should be saved. Always ask for proof of licensing, insurance and work references. Find more information about hiring an arborist from ISA-Michigan, Michigan’s chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
  • Keep pests in mind when disposing of wood. Wood left behind after trees are damaged by storms may harbor insects or diseases harmful to forests. Please do not move debris out of the local area; it can spread pests.
  • Recycle or reuse woody storm debris. Check the national Don’t Move Firewood campaign for recommendations on seasoning and using local firewood.

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