By Nancy Penrose

Trees can become damaged by wind, ice and snow. A severe storm can break branches, rip a tree apart or even topple it. When big trees come down during harsh weather, they can cause significant property damage and even serious injury.

There are many preventative actions you can take to prevent or minimize storm damage. To start with, give your trees adequate room to grow. This includes sufficient space for the trunk and branches, as well as the roots. Trees that have strong trunks and branches, and a healthy, robust root system, are less likely to break or fall over during a storm.

If you are planting a young tree, protect its roots with mulching and by keeping foot traffic away from the area. Remove tree stakes as soon as possible so the young tree can build up strength by flexing in the wind.

Planting several trees or moving trees to the same location can also make them more resistant to storm damage. As the roots of the tree grow, they will start to interlock, which will increase the tree’s strength and stability.

Also make sure you regularly inspect your tree for any signs of decay or tree disease. Although decay is a natural process of degradation, decaying tree tissue is relatively weak. Keep an eye out for any leaning trees or trees with low hanging branches or cracks, which can increase the chances of damage or uprooting during a storm.

Issues like these can often be corrected with cables, braces and better or more frequent pruning. Regular pruning will prevent the tree’s canopy from becoming too heavy, and reduce wind resistance. Removing dead wood and weak limbs will stop branches from being torn from the tree during severe weather condition.

Still have questions about tree protection? Ask our big tree arborist or tree specialist for tips and advice. We’ll show you to keep your trees healthy, strong and storm-resistant.

Nancy Penrose is owner of Big Trees Inc. (, (tree nursery Snohomish, WA), one of the largest Seattle tree nurserys, specializing in large trees for sale and transplant tree service. Learn more about tree preservation at and for more tips on big trees care or installation go to See our video at and connect with us on Facebook at