Living in South Texas, we must be prepared for hurricanes and high winds at all times. Luckily, there are a number of ways residents can reduce the risk of damage to their personal property. Keep in mind that in a matter of moment thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, worth of damage can occur due to wind itself!
The best way to prevent this type of damage is to efficiently prep prior to hurricane season. When a storm has made its way into the Gulf, it is likely that every tree trimmer in town will be booked, as well as having escalated prices.
Every proactive step you take now can reduce wreckage, costs, and risks later on. Keep in mind, hurricanes and wind storms are unpredictable, intense storms. The higher the wind speed, the more likely trees will fall and property will be damaged. Once hurricanes reach a category 3 or tornadoes reach a level F2, research shows their 115-150 mph wind speeds can uproot or destroy a tree- no matter how well prepared you are.
When is hurricane season?
For Texans, hurricane season begins in June and continues through November.
Prep well before then to help reduce risks and develop a safety plan for your family!
How can I prep my trees and landscape for hurricanes and high winds?
Before you begin prepping, know that some trees can weather severe storms better than others. It all depends on the tree and storm. Your tree’s durability depends on its species, age, health, and structure. Plus, the storm’s speed, wind intensity, and the amount of rain/hail also influence the extent of damage.
You can help trees better endure harsh weather with the following steps:
1. Prune, raise, and/or thin out
Having your trees inspected for risks by a professional is a must. An expert should know exactly what structural issues pose a risk and how these risks can be minimized or eliminated by pruning, thinning out, and/or raising the canopy of the tree.Performing these services will drastically reduce the chances of fallen limbs, breaking, uprooting, and falling. This way, you lessen the chances of property and tree damage.
Specifically, pruning trees before hurricanes:
- Decreases wind resistance by creating a stronger tree structure by opening up the canopy
- Reduces fallen branches by removing dead, thin, and weak branches
- Keeps your home safe by removing limbs that are too close to your home
2. Boost the Roots.
Trees with healthier roots are more likely to survive hurricanes, high winds, as well as disease and drought (which is also TOO common here in South Texas)!
To improve your trees’ root system, regularly feed/fertilize your trees! When you deliver essential nutrients right to the root zone, your trees become better anchored have an improved overall health.
In addition to fertilizing, water your trees deeply when needed and keep them mulched. Mulch helps tree roots better retain water while also providing nutrients as the mulch breaks down. Plus, mulch helps reduce weeds around the base of trees, which steal your trees’ water and nutrients.