We are no stranger to storms here in North Central Florida, especially during the hurricane season from June through November. We all know how to prepare for riding out storms at home by stocking up on flashlights, batteries, water, and non-perishable foods, to name just a few. But is there anything you can do to help get your trees ready for these extreme weather conditions? At Gaston’s Tree Service, our team is here to help you prepare your property for whatever comes your way — both before and after a storm. Read on for our tips on hurricane tree care.
Before the Storm
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure your landscape survives a storm is selecting and planting wind-resistant tree species away from any structures on your property. Trees with a lower center of gravity, such as oaks, tend to fare better than taller trees such as pines.
When you find out a storm is heading our way, the first thing to do is inspect your trees, looking specifically for the following signs of vulnerability or damage.
- Visible cracks on limbs or the trunk
- Signs of decay or hollowness
- Drooping branches
- Deformed branches
- Multiple joined trunks
But, it is always best to have your trees inspected by a certified arborist. This professional can expertly assess the condition of your trees and advise if any are at risk of falling and should be removed before the storm comes.
The next step to get your trees storm-ready is to remove any dead or dying limbs and branches that could detach from your trees and become flying hazards during high wind and heavy rain. For extensive pruning and to ensure you do not cause unnecessary damage to your trees, it is best to leave this task to professional arborists. This is especially important because f the tree’s root system or too much of the canopy is removed, making the entire tree a fall risk.
Sometimes trees may need to be braced with steel cables or wooden blocks to support the tree’s canopy or trunk. Premade braces have adjustable straps that can help the trunk not bend in the case of inclement weather.
After the Storm
Before attempting any sort of storm cleanup in your yard, survey the area carefully. If there are any downed electrical lines, assume it is live and do not go into your yard or anywhere near it. When you are able to go into your yard, be constantly vigilant when walking under your trees in the case of precariously attached limbs and branches.
When assessing your trees after a storm, it’s important to remember that even if your tree does not show any visible signs of damage, it is always best to have it checked out by professionals to ensure your remaining trees are healthy.
When it is safe to go outside, cut away any low-hanging limbs and branches and gather them together. Remove any limbs or branches that block access to your home or property’s structures. Also, watch for detached limbs hanging from stable limbs because if they are not removed, they can become falling hazards and damage your property.
However, be careful not to over-prune. According to the University of Florida’s IFAS, removing too many live parts of your tree can hinder its regrowth as trees use energy stored in their wood to grow. When you cut, use clean cuts to sever the part of the tree you are removing.
Gaston’s Helps Your Trees Weather the Storm
Rely on Gaston’s Tree Service as your all-season property maintenance team. To give your trees the best chance possible of health and vitality, rely on our knowledgeable team. We offer expert tree, debris, and stump removal, as well as tree trimming and emergency service. Contact us today for a trustworthy inspection of your trees to make sure they are ready for any severe weather headed our way. And after the storm, rely on us to help ensure the safety of your family and friends by allowing us to assess and remove any damaged trees from your property.