At B & R Tree Services we love seeing vast arrays of greenery. As much as we want to keep seeing these natural wonders, sometimes they’ve got to go. One reason in particular is for our safety. Not only for our own lives but our property as well. Mother nature is a powerful being and her storms can sure do some damage. Being proactive and preparing for the worst is the key to safety in storm season. That’s why we need to assess our yards to make sure we are one step ahead. Below are 5 reasons why you should consider tree removal before the next storm season.
A Bit About The Brisbane Storm Season
In our beautiful city and surrounding areas we experience thunderstorms both big and small. Whilst they can happen at anytime of year, they are most frequent from late October to February and sometimes even through April. Yep, that means all summer long when the sun is meant to be shining high, things can change in a matter of minutes. We have all had that wonderful beach day that is ruined when the black clouds unexpectedly rolled in. From heavy down pour to golf-ball sized hail to powerful gusts of wind – anything is possible in a Brisbane storm.
1. Fallen Trees Are The #1 Cause of Property Damage
It’s scary to think about but there are many different ways a structure can be damaged. You can have shattered windows from theft, smashed walls from an out of control vehicle, leaky ceilings from water damage or an entirely crushed property from a tree. In fact, during extreme weather the top cause of property damage is due to whole trees and falling branches.
Why does this matter so much? To many a house is more than a house. Not only are they our most valuable asset they are priceless when it comes to the memories that are made and everything else inside the home for that matter. The same goes for commercial buildings. These are workplaces where you spend most of your days. To have that taken all away is both sentimentally crushing and costly. To put things in perspective, thunderstorms are actually bigger causes of structural damage than major weather events such as floods, fires and cyclones as measured by insurance costs. Now that’s saying something!
2. Storms Are Unpredictable
This might seem random but like Shonda Rhimes once said “The expected is what keeps us steady. It’s the unexpected that changes our lives forever“. On a regular day we can expect the path ahead. Usually we wake up, have breakfast, go to work – you know the drill. However when something unexpected happens, it affects everything that we thought to be. Much like a storm can.
You can search away at ‘how to predict storms‘ and yes we have the Bureau of Meteorology but all in all they are very much a random event in our world. Our weather is constantly changing and while there is a designated storm season, that doesn’t mean a thunderstorm can’t roll through mid year. That’s why we should always prepare ourselves for the worst. We can’t express it near enough, but you truly are better safe than sorry when it comes to thunderstorms. As Queenslanders we actually need to be more careful as our state experiences the most damaging storms in the country.
3. Lighting, Wind and Rain Together Are A Powerful Force
During a storm we all notice three things: torrential rain, strong winds and cracking lighting strikes. Together they are a recipe for disaster and a powerful one at that. On average a lightning bolt carries roughly 10,000 to 30,000 amps. If that doesn’t shock you, what if we told you that’s up to 3,000 times more amps than your typical radiator.
As we all know, wind speeds vary everyday but during a storm, that’s when gusts reach their full potential (aside from cyclones – but that’s another story). On an average day in Brisbane the speed of wind usually sits between 10 and 20 kilometres per hour. During a storm, there have been recorded wind speeds over well over 100 kilometers per hour!
Lastly, we have those heavy down pours of rain. We don’t always see rain in a storm but when we do, it definitely adds to the equation. With all this power, a storm is seriously a force not to be reckoned with. While trees can be as sturdy as anything – how do they compare to this?
When it’s not storming in storm season, make sure you know how to care for your trees in the scorching summer heat. Find out some of our top tips here.
4. Trees Are Conductors for Lightning Strikes
A lightning strike discharges from the clouds, and like all things that start there has to be an end. The moment a single lightning strike ends its journey is when it makes contact with our earth. The path to that end is made where there is the least amount of resistance in the air. As trees protrude our earth’s surface, unfortunately that makes them frequent finish lines for direct lightning strikes. Compared to the air around us, trees have much more moisture which makes them the preferred conductor . In fact, the Bureau of Meteorology claims being near a tree is one of the most dangerous places you can be during a storm.
Essentially you want to be as low to the ground as possible in the event of a storm. While being near a tree would draw strikes away from you, you do not want to be hit by falling branches or worse, the entire tree. But again, storms are unpredictable in their placement. However, what we do know is that a severe storm can send 6,000 strikes a minute to our earth.
There Are Alternate Results From A Direct Strike
Fortunate enough trees don’t always cause a problem when a lightning strike hits them directly. They are affected in one of three ways: scarring, destruction or nothing at all. Much like when us humans pierce our skin, we sometimes get a scar as a result of the cut. For a tree, a lightning bolt can sometimes travel between the bark and the actual wood due to bark being able to hold more water and sap (moisture that storms love).
If this happens, the explosive return of the bolt will strip the bark off leaving a scar. In other instances most of moisture the may be concentrated in the core of the tree which the lightning strike will seek for. Once met, this will leave devastating results such as a split of the trunk or a entirely shattered tree. Finally, depending on the tree some go unharmed due to the protection of other sources of moisture.
5. There’s Some Things You Can’t See
Again on the topic of unpredictability, there are some things we cannot see or notice with the untrained eye. This can leave our trees in a more vulnerable position in the event of a storm. That’s why you should always have an expert inspect your trees. Abnormal growth, diseases, rotting or bug infestations are just some of many hazards the average human may not be able to spot out.
A big concern for trees in storm season is the health of their roots. Excessive amounts of water cause root systems to become saturated which in turn damages the entire tree. Without the right knowledge, this can be almost impossible to notice. Not only will the tree weaken throughout but in some cases with the addition of strong winds a tree can be completely uprooted – that’s not proper tree removal if you ask us. If that were to happen, depending on the trees location it could be extremely harmful to property, land and our lives as we know it.
Safety Should Always Come First
Protecting trees from severe weather is near impossible. Between their unpredictable and powerful nature we are no match for them. To know that the number one contributor to property damage is from our trees is a scary thought, because we could have prevented it. However just because they are conductors of lightning doesn’t mean we should go plucking every tree from the ground. We can’t say what would happen to your tree if it were hit directly but we can definitely see scope your yard for potential risks with our trained eyes. Whether it be the position of a tree in comparison to a structure, the health in its roots and branches, any unwanted pests – you name it! the whole inspection.
In storm season we can only expect the worst. By taking precautions such as tree removal and assessment, we can be one step ahead to safety in this extreme weather.