The calm before (and after) the storm

Although heavy storms, wind and rain can have a big impact on the trees in your garden, it’s nothing that a bit of TLC can’t fix. Our top tips will have you back in good shape in no time!

Firstly, stay safe! Watch out for potential tree hazards and branches that are hanging on loosely, especially near power cables. Keep an eye out for wildlife like birds or bees that may be taking temporary shelter in your garden.

If you’re not a professional, it’s best to call a professional arborist for any major problems with trees in your garden. If you are a pro, ensure you have the proper PPE to protect yourself when doing any work with power tools.

When it comes to tackling your trees - evaluate the damage. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Other than storm damage, is the tree still relatively healthy?

  • Are major limbs and/or the leader branch remaining?

  • Is at least 50 percent of the tree's crown still intact?

  • Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure?

If the answer is yes, then the tree can be saved. If not, it’s best to consult a pro!

Once you’ve evaluated what’s gone wrong and changed into suitable clothing, start removing broken branches and jagged remains or limbs. Smaller branches should generally be pruned to the point where they join larger branches, but be careful not to over-prune, even if the tree’s appearance isn’t perfect.

Don’t do it all yourself – if large limbs have broken, a tree is uprooted or branches are touching power lines, you will need a professional. Hanging/overhead branches will require chainsaw work, as well as if the tree has been downed or uprooted – this may also create unnatural tension and pressure points, so certain limbs or even the trunk could have a violent, catapult-like reaction. So watch out!

You have seen first-hand how a storm can wreak havoc outside your home, so make sure you do as much as you can in preparation for when the next one hits.

Find a good arborist/tree surgeon - take the time to pick the right company for you. Maintain a good relationship with your arborist and, when disaster strikes, loyal customers will be their priorities.

There are several things that you can do to help prevent damage. You can do these yourself, or if you don’t feel comfortable with any of the actions, it’s always best to ask an arborist or tree surgeon.

  • Remove dead, diseased or damaged limbs

  • Have leaning trees inspected and consider removing those with large cavities

  • Prune branches very close to your house or over footpaths/driveways

  • Check your gutters, and remove debris to prevent water damage. Many STIHL blowers have optional gutter attachments

  • Call a professional to assess and potentially remove any trees close to power or telephone lines; DO NOT attempt to do this yourself

During the storm, continue to stay safe and indoors. You may love your garden, but it’s not more important than your life or the lives of your loved ones.

Welcome to the STIHL blog


Here you’ll be able to find useful seasonal advice from experts and guest writers, along with the latest news from the world of STIHL and the great outdoors.

In addition, we’ll keep you informed about our latest products and how to make the most of your tools – all so that you can make the most of your outdoor space.

More from the STIHL Blog

Light up your Christmas

December 20, 2018

If you love Christmas, then you’re sure to love indulging in a good festive light display, or getting into the spirit with a visit to Santa. In recent years, many gardens around the country have upped their festive game and... Read more →

An inspirational gold at Chelsea Flower Show with Hillier and STIHL

May 24, 2018

RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the place to be and be seen in May if you are a keen gardener. Even if you’re not very green-fingered, there is still plenty to inspire you with perfect plants and gorgeous gardens around... Read more →

The 2018 ARB Show, sponsored by STIHL

April 27, 2018

For the 14 th year running, STIHL will be sponsoring the ARB Show, and we can’t wait for the annual celebration of the science of trees. It’s the 20 th anniversary of the event and it looks set to be... Read more →

Simon O’Rourke and STIHL – The perfect wood carving partnership

February 27, 2018

We began working with expert chainsaw carver Simon O’Rourke in 2017 when he joined us at the Arb Show to do a wood carving demonstration. For us, he was an obvious choice for a partnership as he is the best... Read more →