Prune and replant carefully for storm damaged trees

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

KANSAS CITY Mo -- Homeowners should be alert for non-professional tree-pruning offers and also choose wisely for replacement trees, said Wendy Sangster, urban forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

Trees damaged by recent storms can possibly be saved, but that evaluation is best made by companies that have an expert on staff who is an ISA Certified Arborist or a Kansas Certified Arborist, Sangster said.

“Beware people knocking on your door offering to trim trees,” she said. "They may not have the expertise to know how much pruning is needed or whether a tree can be saved or should be removed."

Avoid topping trees, Sangster said, which is which is when the top of the tree is removed by improperly cutting branches to stubs. That makes trees more susceptible to disease, unsightly, and the branches that do grow back after topping are usually weak and prone to future storm damage.

When a tree company is hired to remove a damaged tree, she said, they should be fully insured so homeowners are not liable for any damages.

Replanting with trees that resist storm damage and fit the soil and space requirements can reduce future problems. Some useful suggestions can be found at An MDC urban tree guide is available at Also, information about problems caused by topping trees is available at