When trees lose leaf-bearing branches, they lose some of their ability to feed themselves through the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, when assessing storm-damaged trees, a critical question that must be answered is ďare there enough healthy, leaf-bearing branches left to support a full-sized root system and gradual replacement of the branches that were lost?Ē
Itís estimated, for example, that healthy evergreen trees can recover after losing up to one-third of their branches, above right. Even more impressive, healthy deciduous trees (maples, oaks, etc.) can recover after losing fifty percent of their canopy, above left!
Keep in mind, however, that old and/or severely stressed trees may not survive the loss of even ten percent of their branches.