Dangerous tree conditions can cause damage to your home, property in a storm

CLEVELAND - Winds and rains have caused all kinds of damage to people's property this week including their trees.  This is the time to take a few minutes to walk around your home and inspect your trees especially with strong spring storms bound to happen.

"The whole entire sky started to spin around.  It was circulating," described Bill Cheh.  He lives with his fiancée and 1-year-old son in Eaton Township.  He told us he saw the storm heading in his direction and felt the fierce wind. That wind damaged the property next door after a confirmed tornado had touched down.

"It split that telephone pole right in half…uprooted that tree,” said Cheh as he pointed to what was left behind.

In fact, we saw quite a few trees in the area toppled over, big roots exposed after being ripped up, and trees sitting in pools of water.

We caught up with Lescher Tree and Land Clearing out of North Ridgeville. 

Owner Matt Lescher gave us some tips on preventing damage with the next emergency.  Checking the base of trees is a good idea. 

“As you're looking down, you don't see any cracks.  You don't see new roots pulled up out of the ground," Lescher told us while walking around a nearby tree. 

He said you should be careful of what you put around the base.  "A lot of people put all kinds of mulch…you can't see the upheaval, you need to see the root layers," he told us.

He also said you should maintain the limbs and cut back to the point that you can see the top of the tree while standing under it.  "It should be thinned out.  Dead wood should be taken out,” Lescher explained.   “You don't want dead limbs in here.  You want the wind to be able to flow through that tree,” he added.

It's all advice Cheh will find valuable after dealing with all the water, damage, and getting his family to safety. 

"I've seen a few tornadoes in my lifetime.  That was a big one coming right at us," Cheh said shaking his head in disbelief.

One other On Your Side tip Lescher gave us: With multiple stem trees, you’ll want to look at the landing area where all the stems come together.  Check for cracks because that will be the weakest point of a tree.

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