The high winds associated with hurricanes can cause significant property damage in the form of falling trees, tree limbs and flying landscape debris. The key to minimizing your risk against property damage is storm preparedness.
There is no such thing as a hurricane-resistant landscape but, with proper care and timely maintenance overseen by a certified arborist, trees can be more resistant to storm damage. The team of certified arborists at SavATree have compiled a few tips to aid in storm damage prevention.
Pruning is Vital to Prevention
A strong, deep-rooted tree may not fall during a storm, but weak limbs in the canopy may. Broken, dead and damaged limbs can be torn from trees during a storm and turned into dangerous projectiles.
Trees with dense canopies should be pruned regularly by a professional, especially during hurricane season. Proper pruning removes dead or drying branches which are most susceptible to wind.
Regular pruning during a tree’s development should create a sturdy, well-spaced framework of healthy branches with an open canopy that allows air to flow freely through it. It is important for a tree to have a central leader with no narrow forks or branches that leave the trunk at an acute angle. Limb crotches should be between 45 and 90 degrees.
Trees to Watch Out For
• Trees with dense canopies
• Dead or dying trees
• Trees with co-dominant trunks
• New plantings and young trees
Consult a certified arborist to see if these, or any other tree hazards, exist around your home.
After the Storm Has Passed
Assess your property for damage and threats. An arborist should be contacted if: you need a chainsaw or ladder to prune away dead, dying or loose branches, power lines are down, you are unsure of the structural stability of a tree, or you do not know if a tree can be saved. In some cases, even a tree that has sustained some damage (defoliated, broken, or blown over) can be treated.
Trees have a much better chance of surviving if they receive proper, routine care. Remember, healthy trees can adjust more quickly to changes in the environment and are more resistant. Therefore, if you are proactive and take the necessary steps before a storm hits, you can reduce your risk of property damage—saving yourself a great hassle and expense.
For more information, visit www.savatree.com.