Fortunately, Alachua County was spared during Hurricane Ian, save a few downed branches. In the wake of a category 4 storm hitting the state, however, Floridians are wondering — how do I keep my home safe when the next storm hits? 

Hurricane season lasts until November 30th, so this question is of utmost importance. Tree maintenance and removal are key! As tree experts with a heart for serving North Florida, we want to share what we’ve learned over the past 50 years to keep you safe and your liabilities low.

Evaluate Your Yard

To determine if and where action is required, assess your yard for dead or dying trees. These warning signs are detailed in our Guide to Gainesville Tree Maintenance. To give you a head start on your personal check-in with your trees, some lessons learned from past hurricanes are detailed below.

  • If you find your trees do not have ample space for their roots to grow, they may not be able to develop a reliable foundation.
  • Palm species tend to endure hurricanes better than conifer trees.
  • Trees can reveal root damage up to six months after a major storm. For this reason, it’s best practice to perform regular checks.

Once you’ve done a personal run though, a proactive check with an expert is the kind of forward-thinking that can save you tremendously in future damages.

The Role of Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance protects homeowners who take proper care of their trees. You will likely be supported by your insurance provider to cover the damages from healthy trees that could not stand the pressure of large storms.

Homeowners with unmaintained trees, on the other hand, will need to make out-of-pocket reparations for damages caused by dead trees.

Be a Good Neighbor

Proper tree maintenance can also protect you from becoming a liability to your neighbors. Pay close attention to trees nearing boundary lines and fences. 

In the state of Florida, landowners of healthy tree branches and roots are not responsible for damages to their neighbor’s property. Like in your own yard, landowners of dead trees will be held financially responsible.

Pro Tip: If you are this household whose neighbor’s healthy but overgrown tree branches are encroaching on your property, you could be liable for damages during a hurricane. Keep an eye out for concerning growth.

Gaston’s Tree Service Provides the Solution

As helpful as a self-check can be, tree maintenance is best handled by professionals. Whether you’re not sure where to start or the slew of branches in your post-hurricane yard reveals your trees are weaker than you feel comfortable with, reach out to an expert to set up your Alachua tree service routine today.

Likewise, if you have lardy, dead, or dying trees overwhelming your home, tree removal may be the best option for you. The tree experts at Gaston’s are happy to help keep you and your yard safe.