When nature unleashes its fury, powerful storms can wreak havoc on trees of all types and sizes here in Southern California. While there is little a property owner can do to avoid tree damage from 70 to 80 mile per hour winds, thoughtful planting and some routine maintenance can go far in protecting your trees from the average storm. When the right trees are planted in the proper locations, and correct routine pruning is done, trees can be protected from storm damage. Here are a few tips that can help you protect your trees from potential storm damage.
Provide Your Trees with Ample Room to Grow
Giving your trees plenty of room to grow goes further than just thinking of the trunk and branches as you also have to consider the root systems. Many types of mature trees naturally grow roots that extend hundreds of feet from the base of the trunk. This root zone should be protected from compaction. An excellent way to do this is to keep people and vehicles away from the root zones by planting shrubs or beds of native plants around young trees.
Plant Trees When They Are Still Small and Remove Tree Stakes Early
Smaller trees, which are grown in root pruning containers, establish healthy root systems much more efficiently than larger trees. Once young trees are planted in the ground, be sure to remove the tree stakes early. When this is done, the trees can bend in the wind naturally wherein the trunks are trained to be stronger plus the movement helps encourage root development.
Plant Trees in Groves
While many property owners like to plant a single tree in a great location to provide shade or shelter, it is a much better idea to plant several trees of the same specimen in groves. Research has shown that groups of five or more trees planted 3 yards or less from each other are far less likely to be blown over in high winds. When trees are planted in groves, the root systems will interlock with one another for greater strength and durability. For properties that are not large enough for many trees, large shrubs can be grown within a couple of yards of any large trees which are planted.
Choose the Right Types of Trees to Grow
It’s important to know that some types of trees are more susceptible to storm damage than others. Property owners are often interested in planting evergreens like pine trees to provide privacy or wind protection. However, these types of trees are easily damaged by storms. Other types of trees that are often damaged by storms include Silver Maples, Willows and Ash trees. More robust specimens including hardwoods like Oaks and Hickory trees stand up much better in stormy weather.
Prune Your Trees Regularly and Watch for Problematic Signs
Trees require routine maintenance to keep them strong and healthy; this is why it’s essential to prune your trees periodically. When a tree is pruned correctly, its structure is improved by the removal of dead and defective branches. Cracks, cavities, decay and dead limbs are all signs indicating a tree is in trouble. If you notice any of these things on your trees, it’s important to call on a Certified Arborist who is specially trained and qualified to care for trees.
It’s also wise to have an arborist assess your trees periodically as being proactive toward tree health and fertilization can help prevent tree damage. An arborist can evaluate the health of your trees and spot problems that would otherwise go unnoticed like decay, tree disease, pest infestations and root problems.
Looking for more information?
For more questions about your trees during storms and weather changes, feel free to call our office at 760.745.7871 or 858.485.0663. Our Certified Arborist, Paul Rider, will help you address the situation and help to resolve the problem.
Tree Barber specializes in quality tree services and helping residents in North County San Diego, including Vista, San Marcos, Bonsall, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.