Hurricane Tree Preparedness & Post-Storm Maintenance

One of the most important steps homeowners can take to minimize potential damage during a hurricane is to maintain trees properly.

  • During a storm, overgrown or neglected trees can become tangled in utility lines leading to power outages. Weak branches and leftover fruits can turn into projectiles causing serious damage to people and property. Trees themselves can blow over if their roots are too shallow for our climate or if the tree is diseased or damaged.

Plan Ahead:

  • Each Spring, property owners and renters should check the condition of nearby trees. Be on the lookout for broken branches, dead limbs, root rot, and trunk decay. Also look for trees that grow close to power lines, windows and structures. See additional resources below for more tips on managing your trees during a wind storm.  
  • Also, consider hiring a licensed tree service company and Certified Arborist. These professionals can provide advice and assistance with quickly removing already damaged or potentially dangerous trees, and they can prune healthy trees to maintain their strength and form, but to allow the wind to pass through easily.
  • If you are planting trees in advance of the rainy season, be sure to select the Right Tree for the Right Place to ensure that you plant a tree that can withstand our climate and storms. Select native species when possible. Think about the tree's mature size and form and be sure to place it so that it does not become a future hazard. By properly planning, caring for and maintaining your trees, you can minimize storm damage, avoid potential safety and utility hazards and ensure a healthy and beautiful landscape.

Identifying Hazards 

Below are some tree hazards that are to be addressed, if they have not been already:

  • Branches:
    Inspect the branches on all trees in your property. If there are any twisted, dead or broken limbs, remove them to minimize waste post hurricane.
  • Staked/Braced trees:
    If the trees had braces installed on them after hurricane Irma, let them remain to be re-evaluated after the hurricane passes.
  • Dense canopy:
    Be cautious in the reduction of branches to prevent stressing the tree.
  • Make sure any hanging plants and potted plants are moved indoors and that outdoor furniture/items are secured.

View our comprehensive guide for safe and smart post-storm management in regards to trees.

Post Hurricane Tree Management

Successful Planting Tips

To prevent future complications with the plantings on your property during the hurricane season, you can start with the following:

  • Location:
    To have shade and an attractive home can often be used to determine where to plant trees but it is even more important to choose a spot where the tree will not impact any existing utility lines. Doing so can prevent power outages and help the branches safely grow.
  • Proper planting:
    To ensure the viability of trees and shrubs, they are to be planted properly by addressing any defects with the roots at the time of planting.
  • Pruning cuts:
    Since wounded trees do not heal, make sure that pruning cuts are done properly. The cuts can either aide or hinder the process of the tree compartmentalizing the damage done to it. Keep in mind that structural pruning increases the integrity of the tree to prolong its life and make it secure in the landscape.