Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest are well acquainted with winter flooding. Positioned between the Puget Sound and Cascades Mountains, our beloved Seattle area is the definition of temperate, and as a result, we see rain when other regions might see snow. If we’re hit by a rain storm during the winter, harmful floods will most likely follow. While some flood damage is obvious (think water in the basement) other damage, particularly in the yard, is less apparent.

Flood damage to shrubbery and trees is extremely common. If you have trees on your property, large or small, having them inspected after a flood is vital. Flood waters can erode the soil, compromise root systems, and so much more than puts your home at risk of a tree falling and causing further damage. Here are a few ways floods can hurt the integrity of your trees, and whether or not you should consider emergency tree removal.


Root Damage

When the ground around a tree is flooding, it often results in a reduction of root growth. After all, with the soil so saturated with water, the roots don’t need to reach far for moisture. This is common with trees that already live in an area with water closer to the surface: a shallow water table results in shallow root systems. When your property floods, the trees will become less reliant on root growth to find water and within seven days, your trees will experience root growth loss.

As flooding causes a loss of growth in root systems, the health and extent of the roots will also decline. Fungi will attack the roots and ultimately weaken the entire tree. All things considered, it is advised to get your yard and greenery inspected after flooding. If the damage is extensive, emergency tree removal may be necessary to avoid further damage to your home and property in the future.  

Poor Soil Conditions

Flood waters harm your soil in several ways. First, there’s the risk of erosion, especially if your property is situated on a hill or near a creek. Flood water will drill away at any soil it can, wearing it back and exposing any root systems growing within. Without access to nutrients, not to mention an anchor to the ground, trees will die and eventually fall.

Another way flooding can hurt soil conditions is by reducing aeration. Simply put, the flood water moves into pores that previously held gases. Because oxygen moves more freely through a gas interface than water (by several thousand times), water clogging those pores will inhibit your trees’ growth and health. Throw in harmful bacteria, reduced chemical activity, and dispersing of clay particles—all effects of flooding on soil—and you find your trees at great risk during flooding. Professional tree inspection is recommended as soon as the flooding subsides.


Tree Toppling

You don’t need an inspection to know if a tree topples in your yard. However, winter storms often knock over trees that are weak, old, or have shallow root systems. If it’s not the flood water doing the toppling, high wind gusts can just as easily do the trick.

Whatever the final cause, you may experience a tree falling completely over, possibly onto your house. At this point, the most important call you can make is to an emergency tree removal company. Attempting to move a fallen tree can be extremely dangerous; you run the risk of causing further damage, personal injury, and more. At Precision Tree Service, our experienced team of professionals will analyze the tree in question and plot the best course of action, avoiding any unnecessary risk, damage, or time.

Growth Problems

Finally, keep in mind that if you trees survive the flood, they are still at risk of long-term growth issues. Since the water eroded and shifted the soil, demanding quick growth from the tree’s roots to adapt to the new soil conditions. Some trees are unable to adapt as quickly as others, and they are more likely to die within the next two to three years.

Tree Removal Services

Precision Tree Service provides same-day emergency tree removals, as well as inspections and consultations to help you make the final decision. A dying tree is a dangerous tree, and our team of experts can help keep your family and home safe. If you have experienced a tree falling over, we will remove it efficiently and carefully, without putting your home in any more danger of damage. Contact us today for more information!

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