AZTreeQuote by Ascending Tree Care
Knowledge Base Tree Quote Calculator AI Tree ID
Sign In

Arizona Storm Tree Damage - What to do Next

In the wake of Arizona’s fierce storms, homeowners are often left grappling with the aftermath of tree damage.

This guide provides straightforward, actionable steps to safely assess and address storm-related tree issues, helping you restore safety and order to your property swiftly.

Immediate Actions Post-Storm

Taking immediate action after a storm is crucial for minimizing further damage to trees and ensuring safety.

Here are the key steps to follow:

Safety First: Assess the area for potential hazards such as downed power lines, broken branches, or unstable trees.

Avoid approaching or touching any fallen power lines and report them to your utility company.

Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of the damage for insurance purposes. This documentation can be crucial for any future claims.

Remove Small Debris: Begin by safely clearing away small debris like twigs and leaves.

This will give you a clearer view of the extent of the damage and make it easier to assess larger issues.

Check for Immediate Risks: Look for trees or branches that pose immediate risks to your property, such as those leaning towards structures or blocking pathways.

Contact Professionals for Major Issues: If there are large fallen trees or significant structural damage, it’s best to contact professional tree services for safe removal and assessment.

Remember, the immediate aftermath of a storm can be dangerous. Prioritize safety and don’t hesitate to seek professional help for complex or risky situations.

Assessing Tree Damage

After a storm, assessing the damage to your trees is a critical first step. Here’s how to effectively evaluate the impact:

Look for Leaning Trees: Trees that lean significantly after a storm may pose a risk of falling. If a tree is leaning, it’s important to have an expert assess whether removal is necessary.

Check for Utility Wires: Be cautious of trees or branches that may have come into contact with utility wires during the storm.

If you notice any wires touching trees, contact your electrical provider and consider scheduling tree trimming.

Search for Broken Branches: Inspect each tree for broken, cracked, or split branches.

Large or hard-to-reach branches that are damaged should be addressed by a tree service company as soon as possible.

Identify Structural Weaknesses: Look for signs of structural weaknesses such as multiple trunks, weakly attached branches, cavities, decay pockets, and trunk or branch cracks.

These can indicate a higher risk of failure and may require professional assessment.

Safe Cleanup Procedures

After assessing the damage to your trees, the next crucial step is safe cleanup.

Here are some guidelines:

Prioritize Safety: Before starting any cleanup, ensure your safety. Be cautious of downed power lines, unstable trees, and hanging branches.

Clear Small Debris First: Begin by clearing smaller debris like twigs and leaves. This makes it easier to access and assess larger debris.

Use Proper Equipment: For larger branches and tree parts, use appropriate tools like chainsaws, loppers, and handsaws.

Always wear protective gear, including gloves, eye protection, and sturdy footwear.

Dealing with Large Trees: For trees that are large or in precarious positions, such as those entangled in other trees or near buildings, it’s safest to call professional tree services.

Disposal of Debris: Check with your local waste management services for guidelines on disposing of tree debris.

Some areas may have specific requirements or offer debris pickup services after a storm.

Deciding Between Saving or Removing Damaged Trees

After a storm, one of the toughest decisions can be whether to save or remove damaged trees.

Here are some factors to consider:

Extent of Damage: If more than 50% of the tree is damaged, it might be best to remove it. Trees with significant damage are less likely to recover and may pose a safety risk 1.

Tree Health: Evaluate the overall health of the tree. Trees that were healthy before the storm are more likely to recover than those that were already stressed or diseased.

Trunk Damage: Trees with severe trunk damage or large wounds are more likely to need removal. If the main trunk is severely damaged, the tree will likely not survive 1.

Root Damage: Trees with major root damage or those that are leaning significantly are at a high risk of falling and should be assessed by a professional.

Location and Risk: Consider the tree’s location and the risk it poses to property and people. Trees that may fall on homes, power lines, or public areas might need to be removed for safety.

In some cases, it may be possible to save a damaged tree through proper pruning and care. However, if there’s significant risk or damage, professional removal might be the safest option.

Consulting with a certified arborist can provide valuable guidance in making this decision.

Professional Assessment and Services

After a storm, it’s often necessary to seek professional assessment and services for your damaged trees.

Here’s why professional help can be crucial:

Expert Evaluation: Certified arborists can provide an expert evaluation of the damage and determine the best course of action for your trees.

Safety: Professionals have the training and equipment to safely handle hazardous situations, such as large fallen branches or trees close to power lines.

Proper Tree Care: Arborists understand the science of tree care and can provide services that promote the health and recovery of your trees.

Risk Management: Professionals can help you assess and manage the risk associated with damaged trees, ensuring the safety of your property and its occupants.

Insurance Assistance: In some cases, professional services may be required for insurance claims.

Arborists can provide the necessary documentation and assessments needed for insurance purposes.

Seeking professional help ensures that your trees receive the best care and that any risks are properly managed.

Working with Insurance Companies

Navigating insurance claims for storm-damaged trees can be complex.

Here are some tips to ensure you get the coverage you deserve:

Understand Your Policy: Familiarize yourself with the specifics of your homeowners’ insurance policy regarding tree damage. Know what’s covered and what’s not.

Document Everything: Take detailed photos and videos of the damage immediately after the storm. This visual evidence is crucial for supporting your claim.

Report Promptly: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage. Delaying the report can complicate the claims process.

Keep Detailed Records: Maintain records of all communications with your insurance company, including dates, names, and the content of discussions.

Get Professional Assessments: Having a professional arborist assess the damage can provide credibility to your claim.

They can offer an expert opinion on the cause of damage and the cost of repair or removal.

Be Prepared for Adjuster’s Visit: When the insurance adjuster visits, have all your documentation ready.

Show them all the damage and provide copies of any professional assessments.

Understand Settlement Offers: Carefully review any settlement offers from your insurance company. Ensure it covers all your costs related to the damage.

Seek Help if Needed: If you feel your claim isn’t being handled fairly, consider consulting with a public adjuster or an attorney specializing in insurance claims.

Remember, insurance companies are obligated to fulfill the terms of your policy. Don’t hesitate to advocate for your rights as a policyholder.

For more insights on working with insurance companies after storm damage, Consumer Reports offers valuable advice on navigating these situations.

Preventive Measures for Future Storms

I have written a comprehensive guide which can be found here on all of the preventative measures you can take to protect your trees from future storms.

Final Thoughts and Considerations

As we wrap up our guide on dealing with Arizona storm tree damage, we hope this information has been helpful in guiding you through the aftermath of a storm.

Remember, the key to effective recovery lies in prompt action, careful assessment, and where necessary, professional intervention.

Stay safe, be proactive in your approach, and don’t hesitate to reach out for expert help when needed.

Your efforts today can ensure the safety and beauty of your property for years to come.


  1. How Do You Decide When to Remove a Tree? | University of Maryland Extension