Storm Damaged Tree Cleanup

Crown Down Tree Service is your go-to for professional storm damage tree clean up services. Our experienced team is equipped to handle the toughest storm-related tree clean up, ensuring the safety of your property and restoring its beauty. 

A bitternut hickory with a storm damaged top hanging on by a thread over a client's out-building. The top is being held in place by a ribbon of wood fiber about an inch wide.

Extreme Hazards

Storm damaged trees pose a serious threat to both people and property. When a tree is damaged during a storm, it becomes unstable and has an increased potential for catastrophic failures, causing damage to homes, cars, and other structures, as well as potentially injuring or killing anyone in its path. Trees that have fallen or are leaning on structures are also at risk of causing secondary damage due to the added weight and pressure.

To minimize the risk of danger from storm damaged trees, it is important to assess the damage and take appropriate action as soon as possible. This may involve removing the tree completely, cutting off damaged branches, or utilizing supports to prevent it from falling. These tasks are best left to professional tree care experts, as they require specialized knowledge and equipment to perform safely and effectively.

Removal of two hung cedars using winches, redirects, a skid steer and some well placed cuts.

Hung Trees

A tree is considered hung when it has fallen but remains caught in other trees or structures, creating a dangerous and unpredictable situation. When a tree is hung, it can release suddenly, causing damage or injury often in surprising or unexpected ways. Hung trees can be difficult to remove and nearly always require specialized techniques to safely and efficiently cut them down.

Crown Down has the knowledge, equipment, and expertise to safely remove hung trees and minimize the risk of danger to people and property. Crown Down will assess the site in its entirety and develop a plan of action to diffuse the scenario as quickly and safely as possible.

Crown Down completing a large tree removal utilizing a contracted tree mek.

Calling In the Heavy Lifters

Crown Down is dedicated to providing the best possible service to our customers, and that commitment extends to the use of cranes and tree meks. When the "Big Guns" are necessary to remove storm damaged trees we call on our network of subcontracted heavy equipment operators. All are vetted to ensure that they provide the highest level of safety and professionalism on every job. 

All subcontracted crane and tree mek companies we utilize are required to possess minimum insurance requirements that are specific to our industry and work either primarily or exclusively within the arboriculture field which ensures that their experience is in line with the quality that we and our clients have come to expect.

A cavity exposed during the removal process of a tree recommended for removal after the hollow was discovered during a site walkthrough.

Storm Damage Prevention

Crown Down routinely helps our clients prevent storm damage from ever occurring. Allowing an arborist from our team to come and assess the health of the trees on your property will help to identify risks before they become a bigger problem. Proactively addressing these risks affords our clients the opportunity to mitigate potential damage that is often caused by strong winds, heavy rains, ice and snow or other types of severe weather.
During your assessment, Crown Down will look for potential hazards such as growth defects, dead or diseased branches, cavities in trunk wood or large imposing tree parts, evidence of root dysfunction and more before giving recommendations about how the risks can be abated through Pruning, Tree Support Systems, or Tree Removals!

Help! My tree fell! What do I do now?

Follow these steps:

1.) Secure the area to ensure it is free from pets, children and non-professional traffic. If the person has not been trained to deal with storm fallen trees, they should not be near the area!
2.) Document everything. Take plenty of photographs or video regardless of whether damage has occurred and especially in the event the tree fell from a neighbor's yard.  If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, allow an arborist or contractor to do it for you.
3.) If damage has occurred, contact your homeowner's insurance and get information on how to proceed and what necessary information will need to be gathered from the arborist you'll contact in the next step. Ask what your deductible is and whether there are any limits on cost to any part of a tree's removal so that you are not responsible for a larger bill than is absolutely necessary.

4.) Contact a licensed and insured arborist like Crown Down Tree Service LLC who is experienced and equipped to deal with the storm damage you've encountered. Remember: NOT ALL LANDSCAPERS AND TREE SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE ARBORISTS!

5.) While speaking with the arborist, give them as much information as you can about the tree(s) such as:

Providing this information will help the arborist triage what is likely a large influx of work requests. If a tree in your yard has experienced storm damage, it's very likely others have as well! This will also help you and the arborist decide on the best method of payment for the services in the event the loss is non-insurable. 

6.) Allow for enough time for your arborist to come and assess the damage. Doing so will likely help determine if it is worth initiating a claim with homeowner's insurance if your deductible is exceedingly high. Your arborist may even uncover additional damage that may not have been immediately caught during earlier steps allowing you to make a claim that can save you money!

 7.) Schedule with the arborist depending on how imminent a threat the fallen tree is. If possible or available, submit the estimate for services to your claims adjuster for approval before work is completed, however, if the tree is an immediate danger, DON'T WAIT TO CONDUCT WORK! Make your space safe and prevent further damage before following up with insurance to handle the claim. 

8.) Pay for the services rendered. Crown Down provides a range of payment methods (credit, debit, ACH, checks, cash, Paypal as well as financing through Wisetack and Paypal Credit) and payment schedules that will allow time for your insurance to reimburse you (often before payment is ever due!). 

Can my storm damaged tree be saved?

In some cases, yes! It depends largely on how the tree has failed, the tree's age, condition of the tree before it failed and how large the tree is. If the preference is to keep the tree, and we see no immediate threats to safety to property, options do exist for some smaller trees to be recovered. However, some damage is too catastrophic for the tree to be reasonably expected to recover from making for an easy decision to have the tree removed.
Preservation is very often possible though and our first choice on many smaller trees that can be easily picked up and properly staked or guyed until they can take root again.
The image above shows a limb with shear cracks caused by high winds that could be braced as an alternative to pruning.

Can I save cost on cleanup if I cut some of the tree myself?

Typically, no. Storm-fallen trees are extremely dangerous and their removal is best left to professionals with a solid understanding of how the tree may shift when cut. In many cases, cutting branches that could have been used to stabilize the tree while other parts of the tree were removed may make the job more difficult or more costly to the client because the tree must be manually stabilized. It is strongly advised in all cases that the you adhere to the arborist recommendations for what should be done and do not allow children, pets or foot traffic inside of an area at least 1.5x the height of the tree.

What happens if my neighbor's tree falls on to my property?

In general, if the tree was healthy and well-maintained, your neighbor is not liable for the damage. However, if the tree was dead, diseased, or otherwise in poor condition, your neighbor may be responsible for the damage.
In cases where there is no damage and there is an amicable relationship with the neighbor, a conversation will usually go much further than threats or letters. If however, you are unable to reach a resolution, you may need to take legal action. Contact an attorney who specializes in property law to help navigate the legal process but remember, it may very well be more expensive than if the tree were simply paid to be removed from your side of the property line to begin with! You are always at liberty to remove all parts of a downed tree tree up to your property line.

How do I know if insurance will cover my storm damaged tree?

Tree removal is usually covered under most home owner's insurance policies only in the event of actual damage and under certain limited covered perils such as if the tree has caused damage to your property, is blocking access to your driveway or hindering handicap access (like a ramp to your front door) of any kind. Your policy documents will have the most accurate information about what is covered. Even policies under the same carrier may vary!

Some important tips:

-Filing a claim may not always be necessary! If the damage is minor and you can be sure the tree is no longer a threat to property and safety, you should weigh the cost of the services necessary to fix damage to the property against the cost of your insurance's deductible. If you are unsure whether this will be the case, inquire with your agent or consult your policy documents to find out what your deductible is before talking to our arborist. A section of fence and the removal of a single branch may be cheaper to pay for yourself!

-Your arborist will be able to assist with what is likely to be covered in odd situations (eg. If only a portion of the tree has caused the damage, only that portion of the tree may be covered) but it is important to remember that what is covered  is ultimately up to your insurance company. Some insurance companies will require that an adjuster visit the site to determine the extent of the damage or loss.

-In almost all cases of insurance-related tree work, there is a limit to the hauling and disposal of debris. This amount is usually around $500 but can vary from policy to policy. Any amount in excess of this limit is the client's responsibility!


A large storm-damaged hackberry extracted from the center of 200+ year old church graveyard in Aquia without any further damage to the monuments.