The night before a major wind storm is set to hit the greater Sacramento region, arborists are prepared to get calls from people in need of their expertise. Scott Shaw, a tree risk assessment-qualified and International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist, is one of them.
“Weather definitely does play a factor,” Shaw said, as he talked about how the elements can affect a tree’s stability. “Whether it’s the summertime with the drought and not getting enough water, or events comin’ up this week with all the wind.”
Trees and limbs downed onto cars, homes or driveways, Shaw has seen it all after major weather events. Although it’s too late in the game to do major tree work, he does have advice if the storm causes damage where you live.
“If you have one limb break outta the tree, you need to do a full assessment of the canopy and make sure no limbs are gonna be falling after,” Shaw explained. “‘Cause there’s obviously some reason why that limb fell, so you gotta make sure the rest of the tree is safe.”
Fencing around homes is also a target during high wind events, which could mean that many succumb to the gusts since fencing repair isn’t always the first home improvement project homeowners want to tackle.
“Fencing’s always pushed to the back burner. It’s not up-front and a priority for people at their homes,” said Summit Fence owner Lukas Wilmore. “It only becomes a priority in the occurrence of an event.”
This time of year, however, Wilmore said, is when fencing is most vulnerable.
“All summer long it dries completely out and during the winter that wood just wants to suck back up the water creating it to be almost two to three times heavier during the winter than it is during summer,” Wilmore explained. “That’s when, if there’s compromised posts, that’s when that fence starts leaning over and falling on down.”
Wilmore’s ideas for preparing for a storm in a pinch:
- Shore up fencing in wobbly areas with two-by-four-type boards or even tree stakes
- Move breakable planters or garden pots away from the fence
- Keep pets inside so they can’t get out or hurt if the fence does topple
- Make sure your gate is not just latched, but also locked
“This is your problem area right here. Your latch post and panel tying into your house,” said Wilmore, pointing to where the gate on his home latches. “What you don’t want is that gate slamming shut.”
Wilmore said that repeated slamming of the gate can knock over part of your fence and send it crashing into utility boxes, the gas main or rain gutter that are often situated near the gates on homes.
When the wind picks up Tuesday, Sacramento’s Urban Forestry department, a branch of the Department of Public Works, advises if you notice trees or branches blocking roads or sidewalks, call 311 so crews can head out to remove the debris.
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READ THE FULL STORY:Preparing in a pinch. Getting your NorCal home windstorm-ready