Hurricane season is heating up and, with hurricanes come property damage and liability risk. For trees, in particular, high winds and heavy rain can wreak havoc, causing branches to snap or whole trees to uproot and fall over. These can cause property damage and the key to minimizing your liability risk is storm preparedness.
While there’s no such thing as a “hurricane resistant landscape,” proper care and maintenance, overseen by a certified arborist, can help make your trees more resistant to storm damage.
It starts with pruning
While a strong and healthy tree may not fall during a storm, its limbs might weaken, fall, or become dangerous flying debris. Regular pruning, done by professionals, can help to ensure your trees have a strong framework and an open canopy, which allows high winds to pass through the branches freely.
Watch out for these types of trees
You should consult with a certified arborist if you see trees that fall into any of these categories on your property:
- Trees with dead or dying branches
- Dead or dying trees
- Trees with one trunk that separate into two or more large upper sections
- New plantings or young trees
- Trees with dense canopies
After the storm
It’s important to assess your property for damage or a potentially dangerous or unsafe situation after a storm. Contact an arborist if you need:
- A chainsaw or ladder to prune away dead, dying, or loose branches
- If power lines are down on trees
- If a tree looks unstable
- If you’re not sure that a damaged tree can be saved
Note that, in some situations, a tree that has sustained damage (the leaves have been blown off, or it is broken, or blown over) can be treated or saved. Trees that have always received proper maintenance and care have a much better chance of surviving. In fact, healthy trees are usually more resilient.
If you’re proactive and do the necessary maintenance and proper care to minimize storm damage before it occurs, your trees will be better prepared and you’ll reduce your liability risk for property and tree damage.