You don't have to live in a hurricane-prone area to worry about high winds and your landscape trees. Even a fast moving summer thunderstorm can cause major damage for the unprepared homeowner. The best defense is preparation – keep your trees healthy and ready for a storm at all times. Not only can it prevent damage, the trees will remain healthier with proper ongoing care.
Tip #1: Trim Out the Deadwood
Deadwood is the first and biggest concern – falling dead branches are called widow makers for a reason! Inspect your trees each spring and prune out any dead, dying, or damaged branches. You also want to catch damage before it happens. If you notice two branches that are crossed and rubbing together, prune one of them out so it doesn't damage the other. The bulk of this sort of pruning occurs in spring as the tree resumes growth after winter, but you can cut out a dead or damaged branch at any time of the year.
Tip #2: Get to the Root of the Issue
A falling tree can cause major damage to your landscape or even your home, depending on which direction it falls. Root damage is often the culprit. Trees sometimes look healthy even when trouble is brewing beneath the soil, so you need to watch for less obvious signs of concern. If your tree is leaning or if a lot of roots are exposed, it may not be anchored well in the ground. Another sign of trouble is mushrooms or fungus growing around the base of the trunk – this may indicate a fungal disease or root rot affecting the roots. If you suspect a root problem, call out a professional tree service technician or arborist, like MML Tree Service.
Tip #3: Opt for a Hair Cut
Big trees with full canopies may look attractive and provide plenty of shade, but they can also be worrisome during high winds. Make sure your trees are pruned back annually so they don't endanger power lines or scrape against the side of the house or the roof. You don't want your trees to be responsible for plunging the whole neighborhood into darkness.
Tip #4: Keep It Clean
It can be tempting to kick back and relax after a long day of tree trimming and maintenance, but you have one more task to finish. Make sure your yard is kept free of fallen branches and debris. In high winds, these can easily become projectiles. It's also a good idea to keep leaves and pine needles raked up. These can clog storm drains and lead to flooding during a storm. Leaves and needles can also harbor diseases or provide nesting areas for pests, which in turn can attack your trees and weaken them.