Cutting Damaged Tree Branches

After a big winter storm, broken limbs are in need of first aid. Heavy snow and whipping winds can cause limbs from trees and shrubs to snap. If these broken limbs are not in danger of falling into harm's way (such as the street, sidewalk or driveway), they can wait until a good thaw to amputate. But if they do pose a potential danger, it's time to start cutting!

When preparing for surgery, you should know that a tree could sustain further damage if a new cut isn't made because nature will seal and protect a clean cut. The cut should be at least one inch from the spot where the branch emerges from an unharmed trunk, limb or branch (called the "branch collar"). Start cutting from the branch's underside and use a sturdy hand- or a chain-saw for heavy, thick branches. If a dangling branch is near electrical wires or is especially heavy, make sure to contact professionals to do the job.