ARBORISTS have been hailed for their efforts in clearing up the trail of devastation left by last week's storms. 

Countless trees fell across parts of the UK when Dudley and Eunice hit on Wednesday and Friday, leaving thousands of homes without power, damaging scores of properties and costing at least four people their lives. 

Coming hot on the heels of storms Arwen, Malik and Corrie, the weather also saw national woodlands shut to the public, tore sections of the O2 arena roof in London and wreaked havoc on Britain's railways. 

READ MORE: Incredible footage shows Cornish tree being torn down by Storm Eunice

Despite the conditions, tree surgeons and forestry professionals began the clear-up operation in earnest last week and their tireless work has been praised by the boss of the Arboricultural Association.  

Forestry Journal:

John Parker, chief executive officer, said: "This weekend many skilled, hardworking arborists will be out in sometimes dangerous conditions to help clear up damage left by Storm Eunice.

"The Arboricultural Association would like to acknowledge the efforts of these professionals who help keep the country safe and moving.

"We would also urge members of the public to avoid fallen trees and remember that arboriculture is a skilled job, and it is always safest to engage a suitably qualified and experienced professional rather than trying to tackle the problem yourself." 

READ MORE: Storm Dudley damaged trees 'pose serious risk to life' as visitors warned to stay away from woodlands ahead of Eunice

While it will be some time before the full extent of the damage is known, there is some concern Dudley and Eunice will have affected trees previously windblown by past storms or sections of forest already cleared. 

Speaking last week, a Scottish Forestry spokesperson said: “It is too early to tell what the full impact of Storm Dudley will have made on Scotland’s woodlands and forests.

“Every year there is some degree of windthrow from storms and this is quite normal, however, Storm Arwen was exceptional in its scale. We do anticipate further windthrow damage from yesterday’s weather, particularly to trees already weakened and vulnerable from previous storms.

Forestry Journal:

“We will be working closely with the forestry sector to assess the impact of all these storms and work is already underway to plan for the largescale recovery.

"In time the forests will be replanted and this provides an opportunity to create more resilient woodlands and forests for the future.”