Hurricane Season and Your Trees

Hurricane Season and Your Trees

Did you know that the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and doesn’t end until November 30th? While it might be hard to imagine tracking a hurricane and pondering the cone of uncertainty over Thanksgiving dinner, the reality is that the possibility does exist.

What can you do to prepare your trees for hurricane season?

First, your tree preparedness plan should begin with a consultation with a certified arborist. We are fortunate to have many skilled and friendly certified arborists in the Chesterfield area who are happy to help you with this issue. Your arborist will point out trees that are at higher than normal risk, and will provide you with a plan to bring that risk to an acceptable level for you. Risk mitigation strategies may include one or many different strategies including, but not limited to, pruning of deadwood, cabling overextended limbs or co-dominant stems, general tree health and vigor improvement strategies, and may sometimes include complete removal of a tree. Tree removal is often the last resort, but it can be necessary in many circumstances.

When is the right time to contact an arborist for a consultation?

You will likely find that once a hurricane is named and forecasters are predicting that we may be in its path it is too late to schedule a consultation. Certified arborists are tree surgeons. Like many professionals, if one is of high caliber they are often in high demand. Consultations are typically scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance under normal conditions, with prescribed work often following many weeks after that appointment. For the best results, contact your arborist well before hurricane season is set to begin. You will find that by contacting your arborist in the late winter/early spring your consultation will happen much sooner, and any prescribed work can also be accomplished far more quickly than during the peak season.

Which trees are most at risk?

Luckily, there are some signs you can look for on your own that will help you determine your level of urgency in scheduling your consultation. Trees that are most at risk to damage during a wind event or hurricane often show some clues that help us determine if they are a greater than average risk. If your tree is dead, has a large cavity (or multiple cavities), has a bulging mass of soil near the base or a severe lean, if it has been previously topped or otherwise over pruned, it is likely a high risk tree. Again, high risk trees do not always have to be removed. An experienced arborist will discuss all of your options with you.

After a hurricane or otherwise major wind event, can damaged trees be treated?

After a hurricane or other high wind event, it is very wise to have your trees evaluated. Damaging winds can cause breaks in the upper story of your trees crown that might be missed by the untrained eye. Letting a broken limb remain in your tree can cause several issues down the road. A broken limb may become dislodged at a moment that is least desirable and potentially injure or maim someone. A break that is not pruned correctly will cause decay on the limb and sometimes into the trunk of the tree that could have been avoided. Trees can sustain a surprising amount of damage and continue to thrive with the right assistance. You don’t need to panic if you plan properly, with the right care your trees can be best prepared for summer thunderstorms, hurricanes, and other high wind events.

By: Timothy Nunnally Jr, Arborist

Contact Nunnally's Tree Service for Your Tree Care Needs

To schedule a consultation or learn more about our services, call us at 804-221-2204. Let us help you maintain the beauty, safety, and health of your property by providing reliable and efficient tree removal solutions.

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