Hurricane Preparedness for Trees
Hurricane season is upon us and it is time we take a look at one of the most common causes of serious property damage: Trees. Not preparing your trees to help them withstand the torrential rain, winds and high winds that tropical storms can bring with them is courting danger and leaving yourself open to potential damage.
It is not uncommon to see uprooted trees, snapped branches and falling trees due to a passing hurricane. There is nothing that can be done to a tree to make it ‘hurricane proof’, however, there are some simple tree care steps for approaching hurricanes that should make it to your list of ‘hurricane preparedness’.
Tree Pruning Before Hurricane
A strong tree with deep roots can be expected to withstand a hurricane without toppling over, however, the same cannot be said for all of its limbs and branches. As a tree goes, its foliage can often cover up small breaks or damage that occurs to its branches. This kind of damage is extremely common and can be seen on most trees.
Under the stress that a hurricane puts, these weak spots are the ones that give way first and lead to falling branches which can cause serious damage to the nearby property, people or animals. A trained and certified arborist is the only person you can rely on to ensure that the tree has been pruned properly, any broken branches removed to minimize the chance of any damage occurring to the tree.
Certain mistakes that people make when they attempt to prune the trees themselves is to cut branches flush with the trunk or leave ‘liontailed’ branches where the tertiary branches from the main side branch are removed but the foliage on the end is left. Hacking a tree from the top is not only dangerous but is also illegal, so that should be avoided at all costs.
It is advised to prune using only reduction cuts or removal cuts and to never remove more than 25% of the canopy at one time. Different trees also need to be pruned in different manners and some like Palm Trees may not need to be pruned at all!
As the owner of a property with trees on or around it, you need to look out for:
• Trees with codominant trunks
• Trees that have a very dense amount of foliage or a large canopy
• Trees that are diseased, dying or dead because these are the most vulnerable of them all.
• Young trees or plantings that may not have developed a strong root network right now
Better Tree health
There is no doubt that trees that are pruned will be stronger, healthier and better equipped to handle hurricanes. The pruning process will also help these trees maintain better health in the long run by revealing any tree problems which would not be obvious to the untrained eye.
Certified arborists can help you detect tree disease and infections early, take care of them and prevent the rot from spreading to other trees in the area.
Post-Hurricane Tree Services
Once the hurricane has passed, it is important to assess your property or have a professional arborist do it for you to repair any damage that may have occurred. Dead or damaged trees may need to be removed, loose and damaged branches need to be pruned, and the structural integrity of the trees in the area need to be assessed.
It is not uncommon to hear of tree damage to property, power lines or car occurring a few days or weeks after a hurricane has passed because the damage went undetected and thus untreated.
If all of this sounds too overwhelming then do not worry, we at Savatree provide comprehensive tree care at affordable prices. We have a team of certified arborists that have been working in the area for decades and helped property owners save thousands of dollars in potential damages.