If damage is relatively slight, prune any broken branches, repair torn bark or rough edges around wounds, and let the tree begin the process of wound repair.
Although the tree has been damaged, enough strong limbs may remain on a basically healthy tree to make saving it possible. A mature shade tree can usually survive the loss of one major limb. The broken branch should be pruned back to the trunk. Young trees recover quickly. If the leader and structure for branching is intact, remove the broken branches so the tree can recover.
If a tree appears to be a borderline case, don’t simply cut it down. It’s best to give the tree some time. A final decision can be made later. Some trees simply can’t be saved or are not worth saving. If the tree has already been weakened by disease, if the trunk is split, or more than 50 percent of the crown is gone, the tree has lost its survival edge.