Storm Damaged Trees

— Written By Thomas Glasgow and last updated by
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

One of the most common but overlooked structural problems in trees is the development of codominant trunks. Codominant trunks involve two or more trunks of approximately equal diameter, growing closely together and joining at some point above the ground. This juncture is a point of structural weakness during storms, especially if decay is present.

The first image shows codominant stems of a large oak, with essentially nothing holding the two stems together. These stems can easily be pushed apart or twisted in strong winds or downdrafts; perhaps only slightly with everything returning to “normal” afterwards, or perhaps severely enough to result in tree failure. It should also be noted that as trunk circumference expands from year to year, the trunks continue to push against each other, and this tension increases the risk of failure.

The second image was submitted to our office following Hurricane Dorian. This flowering dogwood has two main trunks, with substantial decay visible on one of the stems. The top arrow indicates the general area of decay, while the two bottom arrows point out the extent of the split that occurred during the storm. This tree is in the process of falling apart, and no amount of tree paint can turn things around. However, in terms of potential hazards to people or structure, a dogwood is not a mature oak or pine tree. Selective pruning to reduce weight on the left side of the tree might buy time before that stem splits off completely at the crack.

For a comprehensive guide to evaluating storm damaged trees, hiring an arborist, tree selection and related issues, visit Storm Damaged Landscape Trees and be sure to bookmark it on your computer.

Oak with codominant trunks

Oak with codominant trunks.

flowering dogwood with a crack

Flowering dogwood with a crack that developed between codominant trunks during Hurricane Dorian.