Trees grow with, and adjust to, large lateral and vertical loads caused by wind and gravity. Storms with strong winds and ice can push trees beyond their ability to reconfigure or fall back to reduce drag. Exceeding tree structural ice and wind load limits cause branch, root, and crown failures, or complete catastrophic loss of the tree. Wind loads greatly increase with small mile-per-hour velocity changes. Storm wind loads and ice storm issues, and how they impact trees, will be reviewed.
The Calm Before: Tree Adjustments to Wind & Ice Storm Loads
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