Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

September 09, 2011 12:06 ET

Protect Your Trees: How to Help Your Trees Survive Storm Damage

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - Trees provide homeowners with a wide range of tangible benefits. In addition to being beautiful, trees can supply shade on a sunny day, cool your home in the summer, block winds in the winter, create a home for birds and small animals, and increase your property value.

Unfortunately, trees can also be vulnerable to damage from strong storms. But just because a tree is damaged doesn't mean it has to be given up for lost. To help you protect your trees and your yard, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to restore the shape and health of storm-damaged trees:

  • If the damage is beyond where you can safely reach, or if you lack the proper tools and safety equipment, hire a certified tree care professional and make sure the cleanup is done correctly.
  • Clean up broken branches by cutting a straight, clean edge close to the mother branch or trunk. Avoid cutting too close to the trunk, and never cut into the bark ridges or collar of a branch, as this could open your tree up to infection or decay. Cutting too "flush" to the trunk can also make the wound bigger than it needs to be.
  • For large branches, use the three-cut system to avoid splitting and bark tearing.
  • For smaller trees, use curved shears, and place the blade so that it cuts upwards or diagonally, not down.
  • To prevent insects or disease-causing organisms from infecting your tree, remove all torn or damaged bark with a sharp wood chisel, a gouge or a pruning knife. Cut the loose bark at right angles to the wound, until you reach firm bark.
  • Do not attempt to remove any branches that are near, or which touch, electrical wires. Instead, report the problem to your electrical utility, and wait for them to remove the branches.
  • To keep your tree strong and healthy all year round, practice a regular maintenance program of that includes watering.

For a free copy of the "About Your House" fact sheet Helping Your Trees Survive Storm Damage, or for information on any other aspect of owning, maintaining or buying a home, visit our website at or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information.

Contact Information

  • For story ideas or to access CMHC information
    CMHC Media Relations-National Office
    (613) 748-2799