Preparing Your Trees for Summer and Spring Storms

When the stormy season draws near, a lot of property owners put up various measures to protect their homes, food supply, and vehicles but just a few cares about the safety of their trees.

Statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reveals that three out of every four tree damages caused by storms are predictable and could be prevented.

Effects of Storms on Your Trees

Most times the effect wind has on a tree is directly proportionate with the spread of leaves on the individual branches and the tree in general. Due to the attempt of resistance of the tree to the wind, the force causes more damage when the foliage is full.

Some amount of rainfall might be necessary and helpful. Continuous rainfall over some hours may help to release the soil surrounding the tree, as well as add weight to the leaves and branches resulting in a poor wind resistance.

The effect of the wind on foliage can damage the elements of the leaves and could also affect the trunk and branches.

Pruning: the dos and don’ts

Adequate pruning does no harm to your tree; rather, it assists the tree and its support mechanism. On the other hand, poor pruning can expose your trees to the damaging effects of the storm. Ensure you routinely cut off dead or damaged limbs, branches that rub or crosses another branch, as well as branches almost falling off the trunk.

Although your aim is to minimize wind resistance, you must have it in mind that your trees also need the branches and leaves for protection and photosynthesis. According to the recommendation of American National Standards Institute A300 Pruning Standards, pruning should not take more than 25% of leaves off a tree in a growing season. Based on this restriction in the amount of leaves to prune, you may be causing more harm than good removing excess foliage and live branches from the whole tree.

Though common, the ‘Lion’s Tailing’ is a critical pruning error: Excessively trimming off the lower branches, producing a shape like that of a lion’s tail makes the tree top heavy, and could easily topple over during high winds. This could also cause sunburn of the trunk and generate other severe and long-term damage.

Bracing, Cabling and Propping Systems

Does it seem like your trees are not well prepared for the stormy season? You may be considering a propping system. These are manmade equipment designed to aid the tree’s weight, its branches, and establish mobility limits for the trees. Although this technique is most suitable for bigger trees, it should be applied when it is certain that it will help to curb the chances of tree failure and when the situation has defied every other measure.

Every year, endeavor to hire a tree care expert to come over to your property and professionally inspect your trees to make sure they are well maintained and kept in good shape all through the year.

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