How to Clean Up Storm-Damaged Trees

Question: The recent storm winds blew lots of small dead branches off my soft maple. Should the tree be pruned? I did not think the tree was dying, but now I am wondering how healthy it is. Answer: Silver maples, honey locusts, and many other trees will lose a lot of small branches during a storm. Mostly these are the small interior branches that stopped getting enough sunlight over the years and the tree cut them off from access to the sap. Their death is a normal part of the life of a tree. Many stay on the tree for several years until a storm blows them off. If any of the branches were bigger than an inch or so in diameter, it would be good to have the stubs that were left on the tree trimmed so that they do not allow water into the trunk. Large branches can …

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