Preparing Your South Florida Landscaping for Hurricane Season [6-9-15]
by Keith Carracher, President, Complete Property Maintenance, Inc.
Hurricane Season began on June first, and most Floridians know that there are preparations that need to be taken to ensure everyone’s personal safety and the protection of our homes. Initially, most people think of stocking up on food items, gallons of water, batteries and flashlights, but it is also very important to make sure that your community has its landscape prepared for hurricane season.
Proper tree-trimming is a very important part of the hurricane preparation process and doing it properly can significantly reduce the damage a hurricane can cause to your community. Here are a few tips you can use to get your landscape ready for hurricane season and to protect your community:
•Proper pruning is a good way to prevent property damage in the event of a storm. Trim dead, damaged, or diseased limbs, and those that are too close to your home or power lines. Also, look around the landscape for any decayed, cracked, or hollowed trees and remove them to minimize the possibility of a storm uprooting them.
•Never “top” or “hatrack” any of your trees. “Hatracking” is the term used for when a tree is cut or chopped so badly that it is left with few or no leaves on the branches. You shouldn’t remove more than 25% of the branches and leaves from the tree.
•Remove mostly interior branches from your trees, this will thin the canopy and allow strong winds to pass through it more easily.
•Stake new trees and plants. This will allow them to bend but not break, and increase their chances in surviving high winds.
•Make sure to dispose of all tree cuttings, branches, stumps and any other loose items on your landscape. It is also a good idea to use soft mulch. Anything left out in the open can become a projectile during a storm.