Middle Tennessee Ice Storm: Is One in our Forecast?

Listening to the weatherman forecasting a slight chance of ice accumulation I was reminded of the dreadful ice storm Middle Tennessee experienced back in the early spring of 1994. The phone just kept ringing. I barely had enough time to stir my coffee before another call for help came from a distraught client. Some were crying, seemingly terrified of the ice storm that was threatening Sumner County, our community, as well as other parts of our state. I had lost count as clients called with cries for help as they experienced trees having fallen on their houses, blocking driveways, smashing their automobiles or lying on power lines threatening to snap at any minute. Unfortunately for most of them by the time it was all over they experienced the loss of electricity, leaving them in darkness and without their much needed heat. Needless to say, firewood orders came pouring in hoping it would provide them with some protection from the bone chilling cold.
The effects of an ice storm can be paralyzing, devastating and can almost completely shut down our lives. Ice forms on everything and if you look at the structure of a tree from the smallest meristem (twig) and up it can accumulate a tremendous amount of ice and therefore when you multiply that with thousands of meristems the weight load becomes far too heavy for the tree to withstand. Then it becomes a dangerous force to be reckoned with when it comes crashing down.
The TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) trade magazine reports that ice damage is assumed to start at accumulations of 1/4 inch with small branches and larger non-healthy branches breaking. Major tree damage can be expected with 1 inch or greater accumulations. For those of us in the tree care industry, ice storms produce some of the most widespread tree damage that will ever have to be dealt with. Being able to anticipate ice storms can help you prepare for them.
I remembered as I answered each call that day how I reminded myself with a mental note to be responsible  as co-owner of Family’s Tree Service, Inc. to do my best to help educate people in the future on proper tree care prevention. It really can make a difference in how you “weather the storm.” Trees with compromised structural architecture such as: specimens with cavities, splits or cracks, fungus or diseased are the first to succumb to the heavy load of accumulated ice or snow. Proper tree pruning is a must in the prevention of major costly property damage, bodily injury, and even sometimes the loss of  life. The total of calls that weekend came to well over 300. That was just the beginning phase of the ice storm. There were many, many other calls that continued to pour into the office in the weeks that followed. Calls from thankful customers who recently had proper tree care before the ice storm came as well indicating their trees withstood the storm with little or no damage. “An ounce of prevention indeed, is worth a pound of cure!”
Call us today for a free entire property tree assessment and be assured!

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