How to Prevent Trees from Clogging Your Gutters – Courtesy of Tree Triage I Thrush & Son® I Your Hometown Contractor

Gutter systems are essential for maintaining a healthy foundation and home, but they can very quickly get clogged with leaves and other tree debris. This is especially true in Ohio, where the native deciduous trees drop an abundance of leaves, acorns, and branches every year. Clogged gutters can fail, leak, and overflow, leading to various issues that can be very costly to repair.

Below, we’ll be discussing the most effective ways to prevent trees on your property from clogging your gutters. We’ll offer tips for reducing the amount of debris that falls and discuss how routine tree maintenance can keep your gutters clean and functioning correctly.

Tip #1: Get Your Trees Pruned Regularly

One of the most effective ways to prevent trees from clogging your gutters is to have them pruned regularly. Hiring a local arborist to prune your trees at least once annually will provide a number of benefits for the trees on your property.

Most notably, pruning promotes healthy growth and limits the number of dead branches in your trees’ canopies. The process not only involves removing dying and dead branches but also helps the tree focus its energy on healthier limbs altogether. The result is a more aesthetically pleasing tree and one that is less likely to drop leaves, sticks, and other tree debris into your gutters.

Pruning your trees is important no matter where you live but especially in Ohio. Residents throughout the state experience extreme weather, including tornadoes and heavy winds. Leaves and weak branches can be blown out of the canopy and promote clogging in your gutters. Additionally, lake effect snowstorms can drop significant snowfall that will weigh down dead or dying branches, making them more likely to fall and clog your gutters.

Tip #2: Clean Your Gutters Annually

Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, trees near your home will eventually clog your gutters. As such, it is crucial that you have your gutters cleaned at least once each year. In Ohio, where the majority of trees are deciduous and can drop significant tree debris during the fall, scheduling gutter cleaning services twice a year — once before and once after the fall season — is beneficial.

While annual cleaning will usually prevent total clogs from occurring, you may want to have a special service after particularly severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. Strong winds will make your trees more likely to drop debris into your gutters, and removing the leaves and sticks immediately will prevent the resulting small clogs from worsening.

Tip #3: Install Gutter Guards

The way gutters are installed leaves them prone to catching tree debris and clogging. Many homeowners have had great success installing gutter guards, which serve to prevent any leaves and sticks from accumulating in your gutters. They are generally made out of plastic or aluminum to match your existing gutter system, and they are relatively inexpensive.

Without gutter guards, gutter cleaning services in Ohio are highly recommended at least once annually. After installing gutter guards, you will likely find that you only need gutter cleaning every other year or even once every three to four years.

Tip #4: Install Downspout Cages

Whether you have gutter guards installed on your home or not, you should consider installing downspout cages. Downspouts, the vertical sections of your gutter system, collect the runoff from your gutters and direct it toward a safe area for disposal. Because all of the water falling on your roof and collecting in your gutters eventually travels down your downspouts, they are the most likely areas of the system to become clogged with debris.

Downspout cages won’t prevent blockages entirely, but they will keep your downspouts and leaders free from complete clogs. Plus, if you do have a clog, accessing these vertical sections is often more difficult than clearing it from the gutters where the cages will keep the debris. As such, cages will help reduce the time spent cleaning your gutters each year.

Tip #5: Look Out for Signs of Pests and Disease

Finally, a good way to limit the amount of debris that falls into your gutters altogether is to monitor your trees for signs of pest infestation and infection.

Trees in Ohio are prone to several invasive pests, including the emerald ash borer, the gypsy moth, the Asian longhorned beetle, the hemlock woolly adelgid, and the walnut twig beetle. There are a variety of tree diseases prevalent in the area as well, including root rot, powdery mildew, thousand canker disease, and anthracnose.

Tree diseases and insect infestations can quickly kill off the trees on your property, making them far more likely to drop leaves, sticks, and other debris into your gutters. Maintaining healthy trees is one of the easiest ways to prevent your gutters from getting clogged.

You should walk around your property once per quarter and look for symptoms of infestation or infection. These usually include damage to the bark, holes in the trunk or large limbs, dead or dying branches or limbs, wilting, and other irregularities. It’s best to call in an arborist to assess the situation and provide treatment before the issue becomes severe and puts your gutters at heightened risk of clogging.

Wrapping Up: Maintaining Clean, Functioning Gutters

Gutter systems can very quickly become clogged with tree debris, leading to leaking, overflowing, and costly property damage. This is especially true in areas like Ohio, where deciduous trees are most prevalent, extreme weather is common, and tree pests and diseases threaten multiple tree species.

The above tips for limiting the risk of clogged gutters should help you keep your gutter system clean and functioning correctly.

About Tree Triage:

Our team is comprised of certified experts committed to providing you with the best service possible. We are a group of professional arborists. Unlike many tree removal services out there, Tree Triage will always send a true expert to help you with your needs. What does that mean for you? It means you’ll have access to our knowledgeable staff, years of expertise, and real people who care about your needs. Your tree or stump problem is our problem too, and we’re committed to solving it quickly and efficiently to give you peace of mind and leave your property looking clean and beautiful.

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