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03 June 2020

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

Buckle your seatbelts. It’s the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and we’ve got six months of it ahead. Tropical Storm Cristobal in the Gulf of Mexico is the first named system of the 2020 June 1-November 30 season.

NOAA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts a busy 2020 year with 13 to 19 named storms of which six to 10 could become hurricanes. Of these, three to six could be major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5) with winds of 111 mph or higher.

Take proactive measures now to get ready for storms possibly coming to theaters near you.

I’m not referring to stocking up on canned goods, flashlight batteries, and water, although it’s not a bad idea to get those now. I’m talking about preparing your trees, which is a much harder task to do last-minute.

Take a sober look around your property and assess how your trees will do in a hurricane. The following trees are vulnerable to falling over in high winds and prolonged heavy rainfall:

  1. Leaning trees
  2. Dead or diseased trees
  3. Trees with dense canopies
  4. Oak trees and others with shallow root systems
  5. Newly planted saplings

Chances are, you probably have at least one tree that falls into one of the above categories. What should you do about it? Most homeowners can deal with small trees by themselves. For trees over 12 feet tall, call in the professionals.

Leaning Trees

What will be damaged if a leaning tree falls during a storm? If the fallen tree will damage a structure or block a road, consider removing the tree before a storm comes. If it will fall on other plants or bare ground, you might decide to leave it and hope for the best.

Dead or Diseased Trees

Consider removing dead or failing trees now. They are weak and vulnerable—sitting ducks in a powerful hurricane.

Trees with Dense Canopies

Wind can’t pass easily through dense trees. Thinning the branches creates spaces for wind to pass through the canopy; this preemptive action can prevent wind from knocking over a tree.

Oak Trees

There isn’t much you can do to protect oak trees or other trees with shallow root systems. Be aware that soaked soil makes oak trees vulnerable to pulling up out of the ground. If you’re in the middle of a storm and a tree near your house starts to uproot, move to an area of the building that’s not under the fall zone.

Newly Planted Saplings

Shore up young trees with braces to improve their chances of riding out a storm intact.

If you have questions about the ability of your trees to weather a storm, call a tree company for a consultation.

Take care of your trees now to be ready for hurricanes.

Thanks for reading,

–Kim

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