Hurricane Season & Trees – How to Mitigate Tree Damage
Hurricane Season is once again upon us in South Florida.
The best way to mitigate damage from a hurricane is to be prepared for it. Just like we prep our homes for a storm (by having flashlights, water, and canned goods) – we can also take early action to help ensure our trees can handle even the harshest storms.
Before a tree is planted, it’s important to be mindful of Right Tree, Right Place. This means planting the right species for the area, and in a location that will allow it to thrive (ie. it’s not too close to buildings or powerlines, gets adequate sun and water, properly spaced from other trees, etc). FPL offers a great guide to the Right Tree, Right Place concept.
Natives generally do best. Native trees tend to resist storms because they have evolved with hurricanes.
Pruning is also important. A nicely pruned tree is more wind resistant
Proper Grouping. Trees like to be planted together. Root space is also very important. After Hurricane Irma in 2017, we saw a lot of downed trees that never had a chance to resist a strong storm because of the confined space they were given to grow. A group of trees has a better chance of surviving a storm than a tree on its own.
Mother Nature is supremely powerful, so it is impossible to completely prevent tree loss during a major storm/hurricane, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to help mitigate potential damage.