Crews use tree maintenance to prevent storm damage

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nearly 5 days after the storm, business was still booming for one local tree service company.

"Yesterday I got like 60 calls. It's absolutely insane there's still debris and trees on houses everywhere," said Amon Vanderlinden, owner of One Life Tree Service.

Like other companies in town, One Life Tree Service had appointments booked through early next week with storm clean up.

From fractures to insects, Vanderlinden said there are things homeowners can look out for to prevent some damage even from surprise storms.

"Get your tree evaluated by a licensed arborist," said Vanderlinden.

"If they have suggestions, like that giant branch isn't going to hang on too long, definitely go with their knowledge," he added.

LES and mutual aid crews worked 16 hour shifts to restore power after Sunday's storm. LES said overgrown branches weren't to blame for all the power outages. Instead, they said intense micro-bursts of wind caused the most damage, and they already had a plan in place to prevent some storm damage.

"We try to consider the growth rates of the trees we service so that they don't come in to contact with a power line within a four year cycle," said Dan Pudenz of LES.

LES crews completed a four year cycle in December 2016, and they are in the first year of a new four year cycle.

Pudenz said, "every four years you can expect us to come through the same area of town and trim the tree back away from the power lines."

"Those are areas of focus for our work where we keep the trees trimmed from the power line. As there's young trees that are planted, not so much of a problem for us until they grow up into the power line. That's why its important to get the right tree in the right place," he added.

For homeowners to protect their own trees, tree service crews said watch out for discoloration in the tree's canopy and fractures in tree branches that weaken limbs, making them easily blown off by high wind.