In our beloved Sunshine State, we all know that it’s not always a land of sunshine. As we enter the rainy season, thunderstorms and heavy rains will become more frequent. While Floridians may feel well-prepared, a few extra tips never hurt, and snowbirds may not know what to do in the event of a storm. While it’s possible to just throw a tarp over some outdoor items, what can you do to protect your trees?

Trees provide a plethora of benefits to our yards, from increasing our clean air to adding beauty and shade. They can also be used as a privacy barrier, to help prevent soil runoff, and even save money. No one wants their trees to go down without a good reason, which makes storm preparation a must on your to-do list.

Storm Preparation

There are many proactive steps you can take to avoid storm damage to your trees and home. From simple mulching to full-on staking your trees, 1 Tree Expert recommends the following steps to prepare your trees for a storm:

  • Choosing Trees: When first choosing trees for your property, think of your climate. Do you live in an area with frequent storms? If so, consider planting heartier trees that can withstand strong winds, such as live oak. Trees like the Australian pine have shallower roots and, while beautiful, will topple much more quickly in a storm.
  • Pruning: Pruning can increase your trees’ overall health and well-being, which will already make them better prepared for a storm. Also, pruning can eliminate the amount of debris the tree can produce, decreasing the risk of limb loss and other issues. The smaller amount of foliage will also reduce its weight, meaning it may fall less likely.
  • Avoiding Construction: In general, it is best to avoid construction or excavation around the base of a tree, so its roots aren’t damaged. If a tree’s roots are damaged, this can lead to a weaker hold, and the tree could blow over much more easily. 
  • Mulching: Placing mulch can help insulate the tree’s roots and help them hold more nutrients, strengthening them in the event of a storm. Mulch can also help retain moisture to keep your trees healthy.
  • Protecting Trunks: If the wind is predicted to be exceptionally high, you may consider wrapping your trees’ trunks in a protective material such as burlap. Wrapping your trees can help prevent any damage from blowing debris, saving it from potential infections. Like skin, trees with open wounds can succumb to pathogens that can make a tree sick or even die. Protecting your trees’ trunks in the event of high winds is crucial for their health.
  • Bracing Trees: Another way to protect trees from high winds is to brace them. Brace a tree by driving a few six-foot stakes into the ground surrounding the tree, about a foot away from the trunk. Make sure the stakes are pointed away from the tree at an angle. Tie your tree to each post for security against the wind. SF Gate has more details on how to stake your trees here.
  • Tree Evaluations: Having regular evaluations can help you identify problem trees before they become an issue; if a tree is dead or dying, it may not always be evident at first. These trees will be the first to give out in a storm and cause property damage that leads to expensive repairs. It can also cost you more to have them removed after a storm than if you have them assessed and removed beforehand.

Post-Storm Safety

A storm can do a lot of damage in an area. Unfortunately, trees are often not the only objects to suffer damage. Roofs can be destroyed, cars can get damaged, and powerlines can be severed. Fortunately, being proactive in your storm preparation can save you money and time on repairs in the end. Just make sure to use caution with any repairs, and know when to leave it to the experts.

If you ever come across a downed power line, do not approach it. The line may be live with extreme voltages. Instead, call 9-1-1 immediately to report a fallen power line to prevent any harm to others. You should also follow up with a call to Florida Power & Light (FPL) at 1-800-468-8243. 

Need Tree Care? We Can Help.

At 1 Tree Expert, tree care is our world. From tree inspections to tree removal, our team of certified arborists is ready to help. With safety and professionalism at the forefront of everything we do, we thrive on providing affordable prices for exceptional work. Our decades of experience have made us some of the best in the business, and we would love to show you why! Please give us a call at (321) 329-0376 or visit our online contact form for a free quote or answers to any of your questions. You can also send us an email at 1TreeExpert@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing about your trees!