The 2020 hurricane season shattered records. Numerous, fast-moving, and furious, the storms of 2020 inflicted plenty of property damage and, sadly, claimed dozens of lives. What’s more, the trend is likely to continue. According to Live Science, climate change is spurring larger, more powerful storms than ever before. And that means more damage.

If you own property, you’re likely concerned about protecting what’s yours. In addition to securing your property and boarding things up when a storm is imminent, you can do more to minimize storm damage. While you can’t entirely hurricane-proof your property, a meticulously maintained property is likely to weather storms much better. 

How Poor Maintenance Equals More Damage

Stressed, unhealthy, and damaged trees cannot withstand hurricane-force winds the way healthy trees can. And when they break or come tumbling down, they can do loads of damage. Broken branches and limbs can quickly become dangerous projectiles during a hurricane. Projectiles are responsible for causing injury, shattering windows, damaging vehicles, and generally causing harm to most of what’s in their path. 

Dead and diseased trees can do much worse. If they fall during the storm, they can land on your home and other property structures. In especially tragic scenarios, falling trees can cause death. 

Pruning Is the Answer to Most Issues

Fortunately, you can easily get rid of most of the hazards posed by trees: pruning. Regular inspection and pruning gets rid of the weakened portions of the tree and allows the tree to grow sturdy. Additionally, pruning the canopy of your trees allows the wind to pass more freely through them. 

All of this serves to minimize damage during a storm. As the wind rips through your property, strong and healthy trees will fair much better than those that have a few problems.

Problem Trees to Watch Out For

You should watch out for numerous tree problems. You may not be able to identify all potential issues on your own, so you should have a professional arborist walk your property with you before the storm season begins in earnest. Here’s what you will be watching out for:

  • Broken branches — Splintered, broken, and bowing branches are very weak, which means they are often the first to succumb to vigorous storm winds.
  • Uneven growth — An unevenly growing tree causes uneven weight distribution, which can make trees a falling hazard. 
  • Dead and diseased — All dead and diseased portions should be removed. If a good majority or the entire tree is affected, the whole tree should come out. 
  • Dense canopy — If you cannot see the sky through your canopy, it is too dense. 
  • Encroaching limbs — If a tree’s limbs are growing over power lines, your house, or other important structures on your property, they should be cut back. 

In addition to these, watch out for signs of weakness, which can include cracks in the bark as well as crossing and drooping branches. 

A Good Maintenance Schedule for Your Property

The best time to prune your trees is in the spring, before storm season starts. If you can, strive to have your property inspected and maintained annually. At the very least, have your trees pruned every few years. You should also walk your property after any storms to check for damage. If you suspect you may have damage and/or weakened trees, call your arborist and have them do a closer inspection.

Routine and timely tree maintenance can help you avoid storm damage during the next hurricane season. And Knuckleheads Tree Service would love to help you get your property into shape. Call today for more information about tree maintenance and to schedule an estimate.

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