Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is your landscape storm-ready (Part 3)

Part 3: Properly Training Your Trees for Wind Resistance

This week's blog was written by guest blogger Jane Morse. Jane Morse is the Pinellas County Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent. This is part two of a three-part series.

Trees are like children. When they are young they need lots of training to make sure they grow up strong, straight and healthy. Proper pruning is extremely important for good tree structure and the health of the tree. The most wind-resistant tree form is one that has a single leader or trunk with evenly spaced branches. There should be no narrow forks or branches leaving the trunk and if there are multiple trunks with sharp V angles these are very likely to split apart in a storm. Tree branches should retain 2/3 of their canopy.

The palm on the top has
been improperly pruned.
The one on the bottom
has been pruned properly.
Palms, on the other hand, should never have their fronds removed above a horizontal line, or less than a 90 degree angle off of the trunk. The so-called “hurricane cut” is the worst cut of all for palms. Palms treated in this manner are robbed of food and vigor, and will be more likely to sustain severe damage or death from a hurricane. See these links for more about pruning: For suggestions on choosing a tree care professional, check this website:

Having trees that are beautiful, strong, healthy and wind-resistant just takes a little know how. Now that you know what to look for, go outside and inspect your trees. Make sure they have good structure and enough space for their root systems. If a tree needs help, contact a certified arborist who can advise you about pruning steps that can be done to create good structure, or for possible removal if the tree is hazardous.

And if a tree does fall or have to be removed, plant a new one. But plant a more storm-resistant one and make sure it gets regular pruning while young. See this link for a tree pruning schedule:

No comments: