As with many problems occurring in trees the care and maintenance makes a great difference to how much damage occurs to your tree through storms etc. The type of tree you choose for the area you live also makes a big difference because choosing a tree that holds its leaves till late in the autumn and yet your area is susceptible to early ice storms then your tree is more likely to suffer with the weight of ice on its branches and leaves in some cases snapping the branch off.
Ways to prevent your trees from any damage are;
- If it is a sapling/young tree you are trying to protect then its fairly simple as you can insert a stake to act as a crutch, you would attach this to the tree by tying string around the tree and the stake. You should make sure its not tied too tight though as that could damage the tree any way. You could also build a small guard around the tree if animals eating the bark and things like that regularly this should surround the tree and reach half way up the tree, but make sure you don't build it too close as it could damage the roots.
- A lot of help can come in the initial prevention of damage to the tree in the way of proper pruning, fertilizing and watering if required but knowing the right amount of each is essential to it working correctly. Also the right care for your specific type of tree is important because each type of tree requires different conditions to grow best. Learn how to prune correctly because poor pruning techniques can cause the tree damage such as diseases and infestations.
- When the tree is growing do not over protect from the wind as this helps the tree become suppler when faced with the wind as it would during a storm, it helps establish strong roots and main stem.
- You can have lightening protection systems installed to stop damage from lightening which is most commonly used in older and trees that should be conserved. They require to be installed by an arborist as it will need to be installed whilst up the tree and doing so your self can be dangerous.
- In some extreme cases it may be that you need to remove the tree all together if it's too damaged or may cause damage to the properties surrounding. This is sometimes the case because if the tree is that damaged it may fall and cause damage to your house then you will need to get a qualified arborist to judge whether or not it is safe and just needs pruning to remove the damaged branches or if it needs removing completely.
There are not usually any physical protection systems you can put in place with out maybe causing un-necessary damage to the tree. Always ask a professional if you are un-sure of any processes as you can damage the tree even if you think your doing the tree good by protecting it.