Your house and sanity survived the Big Wind Storm but now you're worried about your large evergreen trees. And, your yard or street is full of large limbs. When limbs break from a tree, it is often Mother Nature using her best engineering skills. The breaking of the limb relieves tremendous pressure from within the tree and often saves the entire tree from failing. This is especially true of Douglas Fir, of which, we have many in the Puget Sound region.
Following these storm events, it is not unusual to get solicitations from tree removal companies to 'wind sail' or to remove large limbs to reduce the wind effect on the tree. There is zero science behind such practices and actually, quite the opposite occurs. Anytime we remove living green leaves or needles from a tree, we reduce the ability of that tree to photosynthesis and to create the needed resources to thrive. Additionally, removing limbs actually results in the tree being lighter in mass and density, which makes it easier to be toppled by wind.
The higher an evergreen tree is limbed up, the greater the leverage on the remaining limbed portion of the tree and the easier it can be impacted by high winds, especially in wet soils.
Please share this information with anyone that has an evergreen tree growing near their home or business. Here's a photo from the Seattle Times today. And check out this link from Q13Fox on the storm: http://q13fox.com/2014/12/12/storm-causes-major-damage-in-woodinville-trees-crash-onto-homes-and-power-lines/