• Lianna Cortis

Storm Damage Recovery

Well folks, we hope that none of you were hit too hard by Storm Ali reaching the UK last week! We ironically found ourselves on an Arboricultural Association Tree Hazard Course through in Stirling when the high winds hit Perthshire. Tayside region recorded high winds of 102mph so understandably, the damage was significant. We hurried home to deal with some emergency fallen trees surrounding our home base at Spittalfield. Unfortunately a huge number of trees were brought down or damaged by the gales. This Beech tree on the outskirts of the village required the most immediate attention as it was blocking the main route in/out of the village.

Fallen Beech outside Spittalfield. Cause: Giant Polypore

Like a further 70,000 people here in Scotland, we were left without power and found ourselves working by head torch to make the area as safe as possible. Damaged and fallen trees present a serious threat to life as well as to property so we are immensely grateful to our clients for your patience as we rescheduled planned works to prioritise storm damage recovery this week.

Typically, trees brought down in such high winds have underlying issues and the extreme weather merely acts as the final strain to bring them fully or partially to the ground. For example, when a tree fails to compensate effectively for a structural defect, it can then lead to absolute failure. Many underlying issues will be invisible to the untrained eye and identifying such issues does not necessarily mean that major works will be required. However, it is vital that such weaknesses are properly identified so that appropriate preventative action can be taken, particularly in cases where trees are in close proximity to people, property or other items/structures of value. The risk of damage is then significantly reduced before a storm has even approached. In these instances, we highly recommend contacting your local tree surgeon to arrange a full inspection of such trees. An inspection can identify everything from a root decaying fungus through to an included union within the tree's framework. Identification of these issues will allow you to make responsible decisions moving forward and will help to protect you from the kind of storm damage we have seen this week. Post storm inspections are also valuable as hazardous trees are not always immediately obvious and it is not uncommon for the effects to be seen many weeks or months later.

Ultimately, our priority here at Cortis Land & Tree Management is to preserve the life of a tree wherever we can. Often people are guilty of overlooking tree maintenance as their lifespan so often far exceeds our own. But next time you are looking to give your hedge a trim or blow the leaves from your lawn, we would urge you to look up and appreciate that a little care now means your tree can stand for many years to come


Keep an eye out during late summer and autumn for fungus fruiting bodies on/around your trees. These can be strong indicators of decay which may relate to underlying issues

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