With the hurricane season upon us, we always think to stock up on the essentials, nonperishable food, bottled water, flashlights, candles and batteries. Hardly anyone thinks about what can be done to our landscape trees to help protect us better.
When was the last time your trees were inspected by a Certified Arborist? Inspection of trees at least once a year will help to pick out structural defects, dead and dying limbs as well as weak branching structure and weak crotches. These are the main causes of damage to homes, cars and people. Many of these problems can be addressed through pruning or cabling the weak limbs and crotches for better support. I would like to remind everyone that some defects in trees are hidden and cannot be found except by substantial invasive testing.
A general pruning and thinning is recommended for trees that are within falling distance of the house and other populated areas. Thinning will allow the wind to pass through the canopy more readily, and reduce the wind sail effect that the leaves cause. Thinning cannot eliminate this threat, but it could be the difference from the tree landing on the house or remaining standing.
Another problem that arises during bad storms is that the ground becomes saturated quickly from the heavy rains. With the drought conditions that we have been facing, it is not very easy for the water to soak into the soil, causing runoff and erosion problems. If the soil starts to wash away from the root zones of trees on slopes, there is greater potential for uprooting. Make sure that you are watering the landscapes to maintain the porosity of the soils which will make it easier for the rains to soak in. This is an important point for shallow rooted trees such as Firs and Spruces.
The bottom line is that your landscape should be inspected before a catastrophic event occurs. It should be part of your normal maintenance, such as that you do on your homes every year. You can find Certified Arborists for the Long Island area listed on the Long Island Arboricultural Association website at www.liaatrees.org or I can recommend people in your area.
You can contact me at 631-691-2381, 631-466-2930 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.