Checking trees after Storm Barney


Hopefully, this isn’t what you woke up to see on Wednesday morning after Storm Barney, but we all need to be checking trees for safety.

┬áThe Met Office are predicting much calmer weather this weekend and hopefully it’ll be reasonably dry with clear skies. If that’s the case, we all need to take the opportunity to take a good look at our local trees in case they were damaged by Storm Barney as it passed across the country.


  • If you’re a Landowner such as a local Wildlife Trust, Nature Reserve or a farmer with public Rights of Way and access across your land, you are responsible for the safety of anyone who uses your land.
  • If you’re a school, nursery or college and you have trees on site, you are responsible to ensure that they don’t pose a danger to your students, staff or visitors.
  • If you’re a home owner and you have a tree or trees in your garden, you are responsible for making sure they aren’t posing a danger to others.
  • If you run a nursing home, hospital, hospice or drop-in health centre, you need to make sure that any trees on your site are safe and pose no danger to your patients, staff and visitors.

Here’s a few things you can do yourself to check the safety of trees after a storm event:

  • Start by looking at the bigger picture – without realising it, you’ve probably got a mental image of any scene you look at regularly (such as your garden, your estate, your workplace) and when a tree has blown over or lost a large branch, your subconscious will tell you there’s something missing or not quite right about what you’re looking at! If this is the case, you need to approach with caution – a large branch or whole tree can be very unstable even once it’s at rest on the ground. If this is the case, you need to call us – never attempt to clear up a tree or large branches yourself, you need experience as it can be a very dangerous job. Get in touch if you need us to come and clear it up: Talk to Us


  • Keep your chin up – look up into the tree without standing directly under it. It’s very common for branches to snap off during a storm but get snagged up in the canopy, rather than making it safely down to the ground. Depending on how big these branches are, this can be a very dangerous situation – anyone sitting, walking or even driving under the tree could be hit by a hanging branch when it eventually crashes down to the ground. Again, this is a job for the experienced rather than attempting to get it clear yourself…give us a call Talk to UsTree-with-a-hung-up-branch-after-a-storm
  • Stay grounded – look for evidence on the ground surrounding your tree or trees…lots of smaller broken branches littering the ground could indicate that a larger branch has crashed through.
  • The wider picture – does your daily commute or school run take you past trees at the side of the road? Do they look any different after Storm Barney? Are there large branches at the side of the road or ‘hung up’ in the tree or even whole trees leaning when they never used to? If you have any concerns about the safety of roadside trees, get in touch with your local council or the Highways Agency in order to inform them – they’ve got miles of roadside trees to inspect and may not have seen the tree that you have concerns about. If you live within the Staffordshire Moorlands area you can get in touch via the following link: Trees on Highways, Staffordshire

If you have trees on your land and you’re worried about their safety after this latest storm, get in touch with us – we have years of experience of providing safety inspections and assessments and we know what we’re looking for. Despite all of the tips above, it takes a professional arboricultural consultant to spot the hidden dangers associated with trees after high winds. Don’t take a chance, give us a call if you have any concerns at all.