Routine tree maintenance can help protect you from a stormy mess

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OLATHE, Kan. -- It took a tree 11 years to finally provide enough shade for Janet Suddock’s front yard.

“It’s a maple, they’re usually hardy trees. That’s another reason why we’re so surprised,” she said.

Wind and rain whipped through the metro on Sunday night and her tree was just one of casualties.

“Looked out this morning and okay, half the tree is gone,” said Suddock with a laugh.

That left a full day of clean-upon Monday, but tree damage can easily be prevented. John Weaver of Integrity Tree Care often services Suddock’s neighborhood.

“You want to allow the wind to blow through the tree instead of at the tree,” said Weaver.

To prepare for small windstorms, Weaver advises homeowners to routinely prune and trim their trees.

“He’s going to get a lot more iron production in that tree by thinning out that tree and allowing sunlight to hit the interior part of the tree,” he said.

Weaver says to never underestimate a storm. That’s what Suddock did and now she’s left cleaning up the mess.

“We could hear some wind, but I didn’t hear the tree break at all,” said Suddock.

In Independence, the city hires a crew to trim trees growing around power lines. Crews are out in full force before the storm as a preventive measure and also after for clean up.

The city says the program has helped the area reduce the number of power outages.

“It does make a difference, if a city doesn't have a tree trimming program, you're going to have limbs break out of trees near the power lines, make contact with the power lines. We have outages that affect our customers,” said Andrew Dowson of Independence Power and Light.