Posts Tagged ‘storms’

The second issue of the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Community Tree News newsletter for Georgia tree board members is now available. Don’t forget, the Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA application deadline is November 15th.

Community Tree News October 2017

View at this link: http://conta.cc/2iAeB8w


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Hurricane Irma is poised to take its place in the history books, and cities across Georgia are expected to be faced with tons of debris – on roadways, in parks and cemeteries, and everything in between. Many trees will be lost, which can take months to clean up. Safety for everyone is the first concern, and only then can clean up be addressed. Here are some tips and resources.

Chainsaw Safety, Contracting and Clean-Up

Urban trees provide health, environmental, economic and aesthetic values to communities, businesses and homes. Trees that are not properly maintained or which are stressed can quickly become major liabilities to people and property during hurricanes.

Immediate responses may be either to prune or remove your trees. These “do-it-yourself” efforts sometimes result in personal injuries, fatalities or property damage that homeowners are attempting to avoid. You can cause greater harm to the urban forest by removing healthy trees that do not need to be cut. Click the link below to download the PDF. For hard copies, please contact jscales@gfc.state.ga.us.

Managing Storm Damaged Trees: Do’s and Dont’s


Need the Help of a Certified Arborist to Assess City Trees? Let Us Know

Our foresters will be monitoring local communities for storm damage, but we need your help! If you have community trees that are putting lives and property at risk and need help assessing tree risk, please contact us to find out more about the services of the Urban Forest Strike Team. Send an email to jscales@gfc.state.ga.us. Watch the video below to see our team at work!

Urban Forest Strike Team Video

Visit our website at www.gatrees.org for more information



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From the Savannah Tree Foundation:

We are wishing everyone well in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

We want to remind everyone as you continue to clean up and remove debris to please practice safety first when it comes to your trees. Click here to read more about STF’s storm safety tips.

Please keep in mind basic safety gear such as eye protection, closed toe shoes, and a hard hat.  And chaps for anyone using a chain saw.

Hiring an Arborist

Do you need to hire a certified arborist to evaluate the health of your trees? Click here for tips and recommendations on hiring a certified arborist to care for your trees.

You can verify the ISA credential of anyone claiming to be a certified arborist here:  http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/verify.aspx

With so many trees blown over by the hurricane winds, we encourage everyone to be thinking about their replanting plans for the upcoming winter planting season. Not sure about what tree to replant?

Check out the Savannah Tree Foundation Guide to Planting and Caring for Trees in Coastal GA.

Also, you can support the Savannah Tree Foundation’s community tree planting program by helping to fund future tree planting projects.

Donate a Tree Here

More Community Forestry Storm Response Resources from the Georgia Forestry Commission


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tree on house intranet

With recent above-average rains and increased wind storms, it’s normal to feel vulnerable to large trees on your property falling. By taking a few simple steps, homeowners can feel safe that their trees are being maintained, and the trees will continue to add numerous health, environmental, economic and aesthetic values to the urban forest.

First, make immediate surveys of trees on the property and hire certified arborists to remedy risky tree situations.

Homeowners should conduct annual tree surveys to note any changes to tree structure and contact certified arborists, if needed. Homeowners also can perform simple annual maintenance care by season, and hire certified arborists to conduct updated tree assessments and provide major tree care actions when problems occur.

A Homeowner’s Role in Maintaining the Urban Forest, including homeowner guidelines; a homeowner’s tree survey; and tips on who certified arborists are, what they do, and how to select them are available at GaTrees.org. If you still have questions about the trees in your yard, contact a Georgia Forestry Commission community forester through the Ask the Arborist web portal.

Do-it-yourself pruning and cutting actions can be dangerous to yourself, others and the urban forest. Be watchful that professionals hired to care for trees are certified arborists and carry insurance. Otherwise, the results can cause even more harm.

Trees add many values to individual properties, neighborhoods, and cities. Here is a link to an article by Alexis Stevens of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7:13 p.m. Monday, April 20, 2015 | Filed in: Local News

Assessing health of trees vital to preventing falls, experts say

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5Healthy shade trees around homes provide many benefits including increasing property value by thousands of dollars, reducing soil erosion and stormwater runoff and providing a visual screen and noise buffer.

Despite these valuable benefits, homeowners may be concerned about the risk large trees provide, especially during the winter storm season in Georgia. While assessing tree risk requires training and experience by a Certified Arborist, there are some simple things you can do to get some peace of mind and determine if you need to seek a professional assessment. Start with a self-survey of each of your trees to identify the obvious risks.

English ivy and other invasive vines should be removed to help inspect the base of the tree for cavities and other fruiting bodies, such as mushrooms which indicate root disease. Cut vines and let them die back and fall off naturally. Also, prune dead, diseased and dying limbs annually. During sidewalk replacement, utility work, or other excavation, avoid cutting roots or keep root damage to a minimum.

Lastly, it’s important to plant new trees to provide benefits to future generations and keep them healthy and safe. Trees that are not properly maintained or which are stressed can quickly become major liabilities to people and property from weather phenomena. Choose the right tree for the right place. Select trees with good form at the nursery and don’t plant trees too deeply. Regular watering, mulching and ongoing tree care is important to maintain healthy trees in your yard. December through February is the best time to plant new trees in Georgia.

The Georgia Forestry Commission has a host of resources that can help you find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about trees at Ask The Arborist and a list of arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) who conduct fee-based site visits to determine tree care needs. Trees and storm safety information can also be found at GaTrees.org.

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The 24th Georgia Urban Forest Council Annual Conference and Awards Program is October 22 and 23 at the Classic Center’s Foundry Building, 130 Foundry Street, in Athens.

The conference will provide a general overview of how this storm affected communities; how to be better prepared through making storm mitigation plans; performing tree assessments before the storm happens; working with staging areas for debris and wood utilization; communicating with the media; understanding declared vs. undeclared events; working with FEMA, GEMA, and strike teams; making scenario assessments; and learning more about damage and recovery of iced trees.

Join us for excellent general session talks, concurrent sessions, tours, and our annual urban forestry awards luncheon.

$135 for members (includes a $10 donation to Georgia ReLeaf)
$160 for non-members (includes discounted GUFC membership and a $10 donation to Georgia ReLeaf)

Scholarships for tree board registration are still available.

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Many homeowners feel the overwhelming need to clean up tree debris left behind by storm events. Tips for managing the volume of downed trees, branches and other debris include:

  • First, assess safety conditions of your family, home and neighborhood.
  • Homeowners who spot downed trees on primary roadways may notify local officials by calling Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) or their respective county EMA offices. Teams from various agencies will be dispatched to clear downed trees that are blocking primary roadways, so roads can be reopened for official vehicles to respond to emergencies. Primary roadways include county and state maintained roadways. Roadways may include private roads, if life and/or property are in danger and emergency vehicles are blocked from responding.
  • Call insurance providers if there is structural, vehicular or property damage and follow their instructions to accurately file claims.
  • Follow instructions of local, state and federal officials for your area prior to attempting to remove tree debris in your yard or neighborhood. Local governments have different debris cleanup procedures. They will tell you where to place debris for pickup; what branch lengths, bundle sizes and number of accepted bundles will be picked up; and when pickups will occur.
  • In cleaning up tree debris, keep trash bags and heavy cord handy. Pile debris where it will not restrict your movements, the movements of tree crews or your neighbors, and be sure to allow access for other debris to be removed. Determine what part of the debris may be recycleable and pile it separately. Most woody debris can be recycled.

The Georgia Forestry Commission recommends homeowners only attempt to clean up minor tree debris.

  • Tree trunks and large limbs can be very heavy and their movement should not be attempted by one person.
  • Do not attempt to remove leaning trees or large branches on roofs. Improper movement could cause additional structural damage.
  • Be very careful when moving downed trees and branches laying over one another. They are likely to be under tension and when you move them, they could snap violently and cause personal injuries.
  • Operating a chainsaw on storm-damaged trees is dangerous. Historically, more people are injured by chainsaws than the storm that caused the tree damage. Never operate a chainsaw alone or without proper instructions. In addition, always use the necessary safety equipment, including leather gloves, a full face shield or safety goggles, hearing protection, a hard hat, long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle leather boots (with a steel toe, if possible) and chainsaw chaps.

The Georgia Forestry Commission also recommends that homeowners call certified arborists for major tree debris removal and proper maintenance of remaining trees.

  • Certified arborists can assist homeowners who have trees that have been struck by lightning. Hazardous trees and limbs should be removed. However, major pruning should be delayed six to 12 months (preferably during the winter months). Sometimes, tree mortality takes at least that long or even longer to occur, so major expenditures before then would be wasted. When it appears the tree will survive, more careful pruning and continued fertilization (with deep watering, if necessary) is recommended.

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