Storm damage care

This is information provided by Ward Upham at Kansas State University. The information was initially gathered in response to summer storm damage. However, the guidelines apply well to almost all incidents causing tree damage. Note the link at the bottom for even further information.


1. Be safe: Check for downed power lines or hanging branches. Don't venture under the tree

until it is safe. If large limbs are hanging precariously, a certified arborist has the tools, training and knowledge to do the work safely.


2. Cleanup: Remove debris so you don't trip over it.


3. Decide whether it is feasible to save a tree. If the bark has been split so the cambium is

exposed or the main trunk split, the tree probably will not survive and should be removed. If

there are so many broken limbs that the tree’s form is destroyed, replacement is the best option.

Topping, where all the main branches are cut and there are only stubs left, is not a recommended pruning procedure. Though new branches will normally arise from the stubs, they are not as firmly attached as the original branches and more likely to break in subsequent storms. Also, the tree must use a lot of energy to develop new branches, leaving less to fight off diseases and insect attacks. Often, the topped tree's life is shortened.


4. Prune broken branches to the next larger branch or to the trunk. If cutting back to the trunk, do not cut flush with the trunk but rather at the collar area between the branch and the trunk. Cutting flush with the trunk leaves a much larger wound than cutting at the collar and takes longer to heal. Middle‑aged or younger vigorous trees can have up to one‑third of the crown removed and still make a surprisingly swift comeback.


5. Take large limbs off in stages. If you try to take off a large limb in one cut, it will often break

before the cut is finished and strip bark from the tree. Instead, first make a cut about 15 inches

from the trunk. Start from the bottom and cut one‑third of the way up through the limb. Make the second cut from the top down but start 2 inches further away from the trunk than the first. The branch will break away as you make the second cut. The third cut, made at the collar area,

removes the stub that is left. Note: Pruning can be dangerous. Consider hiring a trained arborist

to do major work such as this. Also, a good arborist knows how to prune trees so that storm

breakage is less likely to occur. Preventing damage is better than trying to fix it once it has


The Arbor Day Foundation maintains an excellent Web site that contains detailed

information. The URL is: http://www.arborday.org/media/stormindex.cfm  (WU)


Ward Upham




3027 Throckmorton, Dept. of HFRR

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS 66506



Miss Gardening? Grow Green Beans Indoors This Winter


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For gardeners who just can’t stand to keep their hands out of the soil for any length of time, growing food indoors in containers can be a great pastime during the winter months.


Green beans are a relatively quick-growing vegetable that can be grown inside your home and also look quite beautiful, as well.


Plants that you are growing indoors can be started any time of the year, but you still need to remember that they have certain environmental requirements. Green beans need plenty of light, so you will need to place them in a part of your home where they can get a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. Alternatively, grow lights can work if you do not have a window that gets enough sun.