Living in Houston, we are all well aware that starting on June 1st through November 30th, hurricane season is upon us. Now is a great time to prepare your trees for the extreme weather to protect you, your yard, and your home. Even if a limb falls down or, worse, the tree is blown over, there are several things you can do to minimize the damage. Though it’s certainly a good idea to prepare your trees before hurricane season, it’s never too late to start preparing for the next storm!
Take a look at some of the best things to do to prepare your trees for hurricane weather:
- Inspect Your Yard. First, inspect your yard to scout out any potential problem areas you can focus on. Spend time looking at the health and condition of all the trees in your yard, mainly the bark, roots, branches, and trunk. If there is any damage, take the proper steps to ensure everything is safe and secure before a storm. You may want to consider consulting with a certified arborist to help you make a plan to prepare your trees!
- Secure Younger Trees. Younger trees may not be as securely rooted as other older trees. Use stakes to help secure them to the ground, so they won’t blow away or be uprooted in a storm.
- Remove Hanging Objects. Of course, you should take in any hanging baskets and pots to prevent them from blowing away in the wind, but you should also take away any broken or damaged limbs from trees to prevent them from breaking off. You may also want to remove any hanging fruit from fruit-bearing trees – make sure you bring all the fruit inside your house. Leaving it outside increases the chances of flying around, causing even more damage!
- Remove Yard Debris. Go around your yard and remove fallen branches, limbs, leaves, and piles of debris. These could all get swept up in the wind and, you guessed it, cause more damage! Make sure you dispose of the debris properly by disposing of it well before a storm, taking it inside to a shed or garage, or tying it up.
- Prune Your Trees. The easiest and best way to prepare your trees for a hurricane is by pruning them, or cutting off/back any branches or limbs that look weak, damaged, or unhealthy. Pay close attention to lower branches on younger trees, as they are likely the most unstable, and cut back the length of branches on older trees. Just check if your trees can handle pruning; some trees, like palm trees, are self-pruning and won’t remain healthy if you prune them yourself. You may also want to thin your trees, allowing wind to blow through the leaves/canopy of a tree, making it less wind resistant in a storm.
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