Can You Save an Uprooted Tree?

When a tree topples, is there any way to save it? Our Arborists explain how some uprooted trees can be saved and why others should be removed.

uprooted-tree-can-it-be-fixedWashington tree service specialists show how a blown over tree can survive if given proper care.

A Guide to Saving and Uprooted Tree

When a rainstorm or high winds knock down a beloved tree, the incident can cause emotional damage as well as physical damage. If the uprooted tree has been pulled up by base, saving it may be possible. The hard truth is that many trees do not survive this, but with proper care from an arborist, some can.

What Causes a Tree to Uproot?

This question may seem to have a very obvious answer. Of course, you can point to the exact date and perhaps the exact hour the tree was ripped from the ground, but there are often factors of tree health and soil conditions that make a tree more likely to succumb to stormy and windy weather. Some of these factors include:

  • Age of Tree: Older trees with weakened root systems have a higher chance of being uprooted.
  • Oversized Tree Crown: If the branches are large and spread wide, the tree may be top heavy and more likely to fall over.
  • Change in Soil Quality: This can happen over the course of years, not weeks. 
  • Erosion: Wind and water sometimes move soil from around roots making them vulnerable.
  • Soil Saturation: If there has been a long period of rain, mud can allow roots to loosen. 

Saving a Younger Uprooted Tree

If the uprooted tree is smaller and the roots seem relatively undamaged, it may be possible to save it. Here are some steps that can possibly keep the tree alive:

  • Cover the roots with moist dirt.
  • Prune broken and dead limbs.
  • When standing the tree back up, don’t twist or turn it. Lift it in as straight a line as possible.
  • Support the tree by packing the dirt around the roots.
  • Give the tree plenty of water.

These steps should help re-establish the tree and avoid transplant shock.

What Happens to Older, Larger Uprooted Trees

Oftentimes, larger trees uprooted by wind and storms are simply too heavy to move back into place. Also, while a large tree’s roots may appear to be intact, it’s likely too many roots broke in the uprooting. Without the proper roots, the tree won’t be able to properly nourish itself, even if it’s lifted back into place with heavy machinery.

This is where the help of an Arborist is crucial. Call a tree service company for assistance with a large or old downed tree to see if it can be saved. An Arborist can perform a tree risk assessment to decide how to best move forward and whether or not it’s possible to save the tree. In the worst case scenario, when you are looking at tree removal, a tree service company can assist with prompt and safe removal of the tree.

About Seattle Tree Care

At Seattle Tree Care, our Arborists care about making your property safe and keeping your trees healthy and beautiful. When disaster strikes, we are there with 24/7 emergency service. Call (206) 789-0534 today for your free estimate.

Peter Gruenwoldt

Peter is the founder and owner of Seattle Tree Care, a Certified Arborist, and third-generation Silviculturist. He's frequently seen on local news channels as the go-to expert in all aspects of tree care operations. + Learn more about Peter

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