High winds, ice and lightning are some of the elements that can wreak havoc on your trees. Keeping your trees pruned and promptly removing dead and dying branches can help prevent damage to your tree and to your property in case of a storm. However, if your tree has already experienced damage from a storm, you will need to trim away the damaged limbs to help your tree stay strong and healthy. If you have large trees, you may need to call in a specialist rather than attempting to do the trimming yourself, but if you have pruning equipment and a ladder, you can trim your smaller storm-damaged trees.
Remove split, dead and broken branches. Ideally, trimming away branches is done in the winter when your tree is dormant, but remove storm-damaged branches immediately if a broken or dead branch may cause further problems by not being removed.
Cut the branch you are removing just past the branch collar (a small lip where the branch meets the trunk). Do not cut the branch flush with the trunk.
Take three to five years to recover the shape of your severely storm-damaged tree. Do not prune your tree for shape when you trim the dead and damaged limbs. Your tree could develop additional problems if more than 25 percent of its crown is removed in one season.