HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Many of us were faced with a tree dilemma following last week's winter storm--remove the damaged treeor try and help the tree recover?

Arkansas Forestry Commission Arborists said this decision should not be a hasty one.

Evidence from last week's winter storm can be seen all over Hot Springs National Park.

John Slater, an arborist with the Arkansas Forestry Commission said high foliage trees took the hardest hit this go around.

"Fortunately, even though it appears to be a bad storm. A lot of it was just limbs breaking, and it was the magnolia trees," said Slater.

Many of those trees will survive, but Slater said there's a good number that will not.

"Anytime you have more than 50 percent of the tree exposed, that's a tree that really needs to be looked at hard to be removed," Slater explained.

Slater said the greater the crown loss, the more branches that fell from the top of the tree, the less likely the tree will survive. He also said proper pruning will increase your tree's lifespan.

"That can increase the life-span of the tree considerably, because no matter how a tree grows there's always a bad spot in the tree," he continued. "It's not about how much you prune the tree, in fact many trees need very little pruning, they just need to be pruned in the right spot."

If you're faced with a tree dilemma, Slater suggests following these tips:

"Ask for a certified arborist, get two or three bids, and make sure the person is insured. If it's a whole tree removal, most tree companies can handle that, but make sure they are insured," he said.

Slater explained that while most tree companies are good at what they do, it's always best to ask for a certified arborist if there's any question whether a tree should be removed.

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