By Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension – Benton, Linn and Polk Counties

Photo Glenn Ahrens.

First the fires, now the ice!

The Willamette Valley and foothills suffered another blow last weekend.  The unusual and wide spread winter ice storm took down trees, took out power and disrupted life all across the region.  Impacts include many urban and residential areas, as well as forested areas.

People are still surveying the damage and beginning clean up.  As you consider what to do, please remember the warnings of the dangers involved, and use caution to protect yourself and others.  Just in my neighborhood alone, I have seen several unadvised and frightening uses of chainsaws!

Photo Glenn Ahrens

Broken and tangled branches create many hazards, including saw kick-back and movement of wood.  Limbs may be bent and under extreme tension, loaded like giant springs that can snap back powerfully when cut.  Many broken branches remain hanging in trees and can be shaken free by wind or when cutting other branches.  Please use extreme caution when clearing limbs, and respect your own limits of skill and experience and follow Ann Landers advice to “seek professional help”.

Here are some resources:

Safely responding to storm-related tree damage

First Aid for Storm-Damaged Trees (University of Missouri Extension)

Caring for Storm Damaged Trees (Colorado State Forest Service)

Safe and Effective Use of Chain Saws for Woodland Owners

Damage in Clackams County. Photo Glenn Ahrens.