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18

May 2015

How to Prepare Your Trees for Storm Season

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You love most aspects of living in Queensland, especially the tropical climate, the lush rainforests and the moderate dry season temperature. However, during the wet season, you have to endure severe weather storms that can damage your property.

To minimise your chances of sustaining property damage or personal injuries during the storm season, take care of your trees. In our blog below, we'll tell you how to prepare your trees for a seasonal storm. We'll also tell you how to maintain your trees throughout the year so you don't have to rush to prepare them right before the season's first cyclone hits.

Before Storm Season

Before a storm occurs, you should pay close attention to your trees. Take these steps to avoid costly damages once storms strike.

Understand Your Trees

Some trees are better equipped for harsh storms than others. If you know your trees aren't very wind-resistant, talk to your arborist about trimming and pruning branches. You might also consider replacing weak trees with sturdier species that have hardier branches and roots.

The most wind- and storm-resistant trees have better flexibility, strong root systems and open branch systems. They lack dense canopies and can lose their leaves easily to survive the wind better.

Native trees like eucalypts, native sugar palms and other native palms, mangroves, hoop pines and other native pines often endure storms better than non-native species. These trees may lose small branches and leaves in high winds, but most will still stay standing at the end of a storm.

Inspect Your Trees

A qualified arborist should inspect your trees at least once every two years. He or she can check that your trees are disease- and pest-free. He or she will also make sure that your trees are healthy and strong enough to endure major storms. Call your arborist before storm season starts so you can address potential problems well in advance.

A few warning signs you and your arborist should look for include:

  • Decaying trees
  • Crooked branches
  • Tilting trees
  • Cracks in limbs and trunks
  • Low-hanging branches or branches near your property

Remove Dangerous Trees

If your arborist or tree lopping service determines your tree could damage your property, have it removed. You'll avoid costly damage and injury from falling dead branches or torn-up dead trees. Your tree felling service will remove the tree safely and clean the site afterward.

Remember that you might need approval from your local Council before you prune or remove trees. Your arborist can often look into this for you.

During Storm Season

If you've taken care of your trees before cyclone season, you shouldn't have much to worry about. If your trees still need removal or pruning, contact your arborist as early in the season as possible. Otherwise, take these precautions during and after storms.

Prepare Your Home

Even if you've pruned your trees back, a heavy storm might damage branches that can harm your home. Consider adding metal screens or shutters to windows. Make sure all of your family members know to stay away from windows during storms. Everyone should move to the safest room in the house.

Remove Fallen Branches and Leaves

After the skies clear, remove any debris from your yard. If the storm broke your tree's branches or trunk, contact your arborist to find out if you can save the tree or if it needs pruning or removal.

Always be wary of damaged trees. Broken branches in your yard, your neighbours' yards or around the city can fall and cause injury. Report fallen power lines and trees as soon as possible.

After Storm Season

Once storm season ends, it's time to start the process all over again. Talk to your arborist and tree felling company about how to keep your trees healthy during the dry season, which trees to remove and how to prepare for next year's season.

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