Hoooooly smoke! What tore through your backyard? You know it was a hurricane, alright, but you didn’t expect it to leave so much destruction. Now, your beloved trees are leaning to one side, and some branches are hanging precariously. Before long, you could be staring at a yard full of stumps.
This scenario underscores the need to take the right measures beforehand to protect your trees, and property, from a hurricane. For over twenty years, the talented team at Evergreen Tree Service has been providing superior quality service to all of Portland and its surrounding areas. They also advise homeowners to take preventative steps to avert serious damage to their trees. That said, here’re measures you can take to guard against strong winds and rain:
1. Pruning Does the Trick
Before a storm, prune weak or dead branches on your trees, so they don’t become projectiles during the windy weather. For starters, it helps reduce the trees’ wind resistance.
We know that trees serve as windbreakers. However, that trait can work against them when strong winds blow, and the leaves start to act like aerodynamic sails, causing the tree to vibrate, leading to structural damage or even the tree blowing over. Removing dead or weak branches in advance can make a huge difference. Thus, the fewer dead branches, the less chance they will snap off.
While at it, look for diseased or decaying branches and remove them. Similarly, consider removing weak or old trees because their structure can’t handle the strain of a hurricane. You may also need to call in an arborist to examine your trees for damage you might not see.
2. Brace for Impact
Be proactive and secure your trees with braces to withstand a hurricane. You can do this by tying the tree trunk to stakes or installing guy wires from the base of the trunk up to the canopy. This helps prevent trees from swaying too much in high winds. Plus, such strong winds can uproot even the sturdiest of trees, so the extra support goes a long way to ensure your trees stay in one piece.
3. Protect the Soil Around Your Trees
Ensure the soil around your trees is in check. Typically, soft and wet ground can cause trees to uproot. Check on the layer of mulch or soil around your tree and ensure it’s at least a few inches thick. This helps keep the root system intact and protects it from loosening in case of heavy winds and rain.
To protect susceptible roots, lay a tarp over the ground to keep the soil dry during heavy rains. That said, this approach might only work if you have a few areas to cover.
4. Group Planting Works
This refers to planting trees in clusters. Trees are stronger when grown together and can even shelter each other from heavy winds – think of it as having strength in numbers. Plus, their collective root systems help them better survive high-force winds. Think of each cluster as a mini windbreak, slowing down the speed of the winds.
A cluster should comprise trees of different species, preferably those with different heights and shapes. That way, they can form a robust wall. Also, space them out evenly so they get enough sun and air. However, avoid planting them in a straight line as this exposes them to the full force of the wind.
5. Cover the Trunks
Consider wrapping your tree trunks with burlap to prevent abrasion and damage. It’s especially beneficial for trees with thin bark that can easily be scraped off in high winds.
You’d be surprised how a protective wrap can save your trees from strong winds. The mesh or burlap helps absorb the wind gusts and prevents the trunks from becoming torn and stripped bare by flying debris.
6. Select the Right Trees
Some tree species can better withstand hurricane-force winds than others. Thus, if you live in hurricane-prone areas, select trees that can tolerate strong winds and support the weight of ice and snow. Before planting, research the species to determine whether they can survive in your climate.
While at it, pick trees with straight roots, as they are less likely to topple over in hurricanes. Additionally, trees with dominant trunks have a stronger structure and can better survive strong winds. Shorter and more compact trees are also a great choice as they have a low center of gravity, making them more stable. For instance, the northern red oak and the bald cypress are excellent choices.
Hurricane-proofing your trees isn’t that hard. By being proactive, you can ensure your trees stand a chance against the next hurricane. Take the step today and secure your trees for the future. And if you need help with any of the above, rope in a professional tree service.