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Tree Removal Service Billings Mt

Emergency Tree Care: Kit Essentials Every Homeowner Should Own

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Incidents such as storms or tumbling tree branches can lead to considerable harm to your assets, particularly your trees. In such conditions, it becomes essential to engage the expertise of professional tree care services. Nonetheless, as the owner of the property, preparing for minor tree crises can lessen the resulting damage and enhance your personal security. Therefore, possessing an emergency tree care kit can come in handy. Understanding what to include in this kit and realizing the importance of these instruments is crucial.

Why Have an Emergency Tree Care Kit?

emergency tree care kit

While it might seem like an unusual item to add to your home preparedness, there are compelling reasons to have a dedicated tree care kit:

  • Safety: Dealing with broken branches or partially fallen trees can be dangerous. Having the right tools minimizes the risk of further tree damage or injuries.
  • Damage Control: Some basic tree care actions after a storm can help prevent further damage to your home. For instance, removing a heavy branch resting against your house is crucial.
  • Cost Savings: Sometimes, simple emergency care saves the expense of more extensive work by professionals.
  • Tree Health: Proper tools and techniques help minimize unnecessary stress on the tree during its vulnerable state.

Kit Essentials: Tools and Supplies

Here’s a breakdown of what you should aim to include in your emergency tree care kit:

  1. Pruning Tools:
  • Hand Pruners: These are essential for cutting smaller branches (up to about 3/4 inch in diameter). Choose a bypass style pruner for cleaner cuts.
  • Loppers: Tackle thicker branches (1-2 inches in diameter) with a good pair of loppers. Opt for longer handles for extra leverage.
  • Pruning Saw: A folding pruning saw is a space-saving yet powerful option for branches several inches thick. Choose one with a comfortable grip and a blade designed for green wood.
  1. Wound Care Supplies:
  • Pruning Sealer: While not always necessary, pruning sealer can minimize the risk of disease and insect infestations on larger cuts. Look for a water-based compound for easy application.
  • Tarp: Protect significantly exposed wood while waiting for professional help with a tarp secured by ropes or bungee cords.
  1. Safety Gear:
  • Hard Hat: A must-have for any work involving falling branches or unstable trees.
  • Work Gloves: Opt for sturdy, leather gloves with good grip to protect your hands from splinters and abrasions.
  • Eye Protection: Safety glasses or goggles protect your eyes from flying wood chips and debris.
  1. Stabilizing and Support:
  • Rope: Durable rope is useful for securing broken branches, temporarily supporting leaning trees, or creating a safety perimeter.
  • Wood Stakes: If temporary tree support is needed, sturdy wood stakes can be driven into the ground as anchors.
  • Mallet: A basic mallet helps drive in those wooden stakes.
  1. Cleanup and General:
  • First-aid Kit: Always a good idea for any outdoor work.
  • Rake and Tarp: Essential for collecting fallen branches and debris.
  • Trash Bags: Clean up will be far easier with heavy-duty trash bags at hand.

Additional Considerations

  • Chainsaw: While not strictly necessary for basic emergency care, homeowners with extensive tree cover and experience safely using a chainsaw should consider having one available. Remember, chainsaws are extremely dangerous if not handled properly.
  • Tool Maintenance: Keep your tools sharp and clean. Oiled blades resist rust and pruning sealers can be used on tool handles for protection.
  • Kit Storage: Designate a durable, waterproof container clearly labeled for your emergency tree care kit. Store it in an easily accessible location like your shed or garage.

Important Notes on Tree Emergencies

  • Prioritize Safety: If a tree emergency seems too large, unstable, or involves power lines, do NOT attempt to deal with it yourself. Call professionals immediately.
  • Assess the Damage: Take a careful look at the situation before acting. Are branches tangled in wires? Is the tree leaning precariously on your house? This information will help guide your response and determine if it’s safe for you to take action.
  • Know Your Limits: Tree work can be strenuous and dangerous, so be honest about your physical capabilities and skill level.
  • Focus on the Basics: Your goal in an emergency is damage control and safety, not full tree restoration.
  • Seek Professional Help: If in doubt, always call experienced arborists for assistance.

Actions Your Kit Can Help You With

Let’s look at some specific scenarios where your tree care kit can be invaluable:

  • Removing Broken Branches: After a storm, you may find smaller branches have snapped and are in danger of falling further. Prune these back to a main branch safely, making clean cuts with your tools, and seal any larger wounds.
  • Securing Hanging Branches: A partially broken branch still hanging in the tree becomes a hazard. If it’s small enough to reach, prune it cleanly. Otherwise, you can use rope to temporarily secure it to another sturdy part of the tree to prevent further breakage and damage, at least until a professional can address it.
  • Supporting a Leaning Tree: If a small tree is leaning drastically due to root disturbance, you may be able to provide emergency support. Drive stakes into the ground away from the direction of the lean and use ropes to brace the tree, trying to ease it back towards a more upright position. This is very temporary and professional help is still needed.
  • Protecting Exposed Wood: Significant breaks can leave large areas of the tree’s interior exposed. Covering these temporarily with a tarp minimizes exposure to the elements and potential insect or disease problems until the tree can be professionally treated.

Proper Techniques Matter

Having the right tools is good, but using them correctly is critical for both safety and minimizing additional tree stress:

  • Clean Cuts: Don’t tear branches or leave ragged stubs. Locate the branch collar (the slightly raised area where the branch meets the trunk) and make your cuts just outside this point, respecting that area for optimal wound healing.
  • No Topping: Never “top” a tree by arbitrarily cutting off its upper branches. This severely harms the tree’s health and creates instability.
  • Sealer Application: Apply pruning sealer according to product directions, usually only necessary for larger cuts over 1-inch in diameter.
  • Assess Your Tools: Is the tool the right size for the job? Trying to cut a large branch with inadequate tools risks damage to both you and the tree.

When Professional Tree Care Services in Billings MT Are Essential

Remember, your emergency kit is not a replacement for expert tree care. Here are situations where calling an arborist is a must:

  • Power Line Involvement: Never approach or attempt to handle trees entangled with power lines. Call your utility company immediately.
  • Large or Unstable Trees: If the problem is beyond what you can safely reach or the tree appears in danger of completely falling, professionals have the equipment and expertise for safe, controlled removal.
  • Roof Damage: Leave the work to professionals if any tree sections are resting on your house’s roof.
  • Complex Wound Treatment: Extensive damage requires professional wound care and assessment to save the tree.


An emergency tree care kit empowers you to take basic but often crucial steps to protect your property and trees during unexpected events. By maintaining your kit, knowing your limitations, and focusing on safety and the most essential care, you’ll be far better prepared to face tree troubles head-on until more extensive help can arrive.