A storm can wreak havoc on your yard, felling trees and leaving branches strewn about. Knowing where to start to clean up the mess is half the battle, here is a guide to get you started.
- Always check that there are no downed wires in your area. If a tree is leaning on a power line call your service provider and do not touch the tree.
- Do not try to clean up a fallen tree alone. Partially fallen trees can shift or start rolling.
- Always wear safety gear, including eye protection and gloves
- A sharpened chainsaw can help prevent against a stuck chainsaw blade
- Plan an escape route from a falling tree or branch before cutting
Before you begin the clean-up process take photos and videos as evidence for any insurance claims.
If you have any broken windows or doors it is best to start with cleaning up that debris first. Be extra careful when cleaning up broken glass. Repair those first since it helps to protect the inside of your home.
Start your yard clean up by cleaning up the small twigs, leaves and debris. It is easiest to rake those into piles before using your wheelbarrow to transport to a corner of your yard or into a trailer for disposal.
Check on your annuals, perennials, or vegetable plants. If they are still intact you can remove the damaged leaves, do not remove more than one-third of the total leaves. If the plant was uprooted it can likely be replanted. If the stem has snapped the plant will not recover so it should be removed.
If there are larger branches in your yard they can be easily collected using a mini skid steer with a grapple attached.
Cleaning up a fallen tree
If you do not think you can clean up the tree by yourself, call a professional.
Start by cutting off smaller branches until you are left with just the trunk. When you start on a branch check if it is under pressure before cutting. You can prevent branches from whipping by cutting close to pressure points.
Minimize hazards by collecting branches in one place, such as a corner of your yard to be chipped or into a trailer for disposal.
Once you are working on the trunk, start from the base of the tree and work your way up. Cut the trunk into manageable pieces for removal.
You should also inspect the standing trees in your yard for damage, including a split in the trunk or a broken tree top.
After you have gathered up all the debris you can chip it to use as mulch or dispose of it. Check with your local municipality for the best disposal of yard waste.
It is also a good idea to remove the tree stump of any fallen trees, which can become tripping hazards. A stump grinder is the fastest and easiest way to remove a stump.
Also be sure to check for damage to sidewalks, retaining walls, decks, and patios.