Welcome to the GAA

A resource for tree care professionals and the public to protect and care for Georgia's trees.

    When a storm brings down trees and branches, the Georgia Arborist Association reminds you to stay safe. Storm damage work is very dangerous. Beware of drive-by tree services! Make sure the company you hire to clear the heavy debris is insured and has a proven record of safe work practices. 

    It is tempting to clean up yard debris and branches after a bad storm. You should collect only the smallest limbs. Leave bigger branches to the professionals. Bigger branches on the ground can be under tension and, when moved, snap up into your body or face, causing severe injury. Be patient and stay safe. Find a quality tree service on our membership directory.

    Types of Storms

    Storm & Wind Damaged Trees

    If you experience a downed tree due to inclement weather in the coming days, here are a few ways to report it:

    • If the tree has fallen into the right-of-way (roadway), but it is not blocking the road (cars can still get past), please report the issue to the local jurisdiction.
    • If a tree has fallen into the roadway and is blocking the roadway, call the local jurisdiction’s non-emergency line.
    • If a tree has fallen and has created a hazardous situation that threatens personal or public safety (ex. It has taken down power lines or has fallen and injured or trapped someone), call 911. Remember to please use 911 only in emergency situations. Using 911 for anything other than true emergencies can potentially hamper our emergency response for someone else.
    • To learn more, Click Here.


    Water is the critical element for tree survival, and the availability of water will impact tree growth. Approximately 80% of the variation in tree growth is due to the irregularity of water supply.

    • Various symptoms and damage occur as trees respond to decreasing water availability
    • Deciduous trees: curling, mottling, scorching, shedding, early autumn color changes of leaves.
    • Conifers: yellowing, browning of needle tips.
    • To learn more, Click Here.


    Saturated ground and rising waters have loosened soil around tree root systems, which may allow roots to lose their grip and trees to lean or fall.

    • Warning signs of flood damage in trees include curling and wilting of leaves; followed by “chlorosis,” or pale-colored leaves, which is generally followed by leaf browning and ultimately, leaf loss.
    • Saturated ground and rising waters have loosened soil around tree root systems, which may allow roots to lose their grip and trees to lean or fall.
    • To learn more, Click Here.


    Fallen trees can be extremely hazardous and can create liabilities for homeowners. Don’t attempt “do it yourself” storm clean-up.

    • Downed trees and overlaying branches are likely to be under tension and may snap violently and cause personal injuries when moved.
    • Leaning trees or large branches on roofs can cause significant structural damage. Moving them should not be attempted by homeowners. Such removals should be carried out only by experienced professionals.
    • To learn more, Click Here.


    Due to their height, trees are a prime target for lightning. If you see lightning and hear thunder within 30 seconds of it, take shelter in a vehicle or building; or a low spot away from tall trees, wire fences or other objects that conduct electricity. Stay a distance away that is twice the tree height.

    • When electricity is conducted along the outside of a tree, blown off bark and scarring will be apparent.
    • When a lightning charge penetrates the tree’s trunk, the compression and rebound of the trunk tissue from the lightning bolt splitting the air causes the tree to explode, leading to a serious condition called “trunk shatter.”
    • The most commonly struck trees are oaks, elms, poplars and pines – typically found in residential yards.
    • To learn more, Click Here.

    Ice Storm

    Ice storms are caused by rain that flash-freezes as it passes through a layer of below-freezing air.

    • The weight of the ice, or when combined with any wind or outside forces, can break trees branches, which can fall on overhead power lines or structures and create a dangerous situation.
    • Trees with fine branches, less flexible branches, and greater leaf surface, such as pine trees, are more likely to suffer ice damage
    • To learn more, Click Here.

    Georgia Arborist Association

    Email:  info@georgiaarborist.org
    Phone:  (404) 913-1422
    Address:  GAA ~ P.O. Box 2516, Decatur GA 30031

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