Summer is right around the corner and with it comes the dreaded hurricane season. Floridians know that hurricanes bring significant damage not only to properties but to landscapes as well. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for these storms by sheltering your home and making sure you have stocked up on food, water and other essentials.
The work is not done, however. We often overlook a very important part of our homes, the landscape. During storms, flying debris from poorly tended landscapes can result in notable damage and injury.
The following are some tips on how to prepare your landscape and mitigate damage:
- Consider swapping out gravel for soft mulch in your plant beds. Gravel can potentially become a projectile during storms.
- Bring indoors any potted plants, tools, furniture, and yard decorations before the storm.
- Check drainage areas and gutters. If these areas are clogged, storm waters won’t be able to slow and may cause additional flooding.
- Trim dead, damaged, and diseased limbs as well as those that are close to your home or any power lines.
- If you have palm trees on your property, remove any coconuts, large palm seeds, or dead branches.
- Do not “hatrack” your trees. Hatracking is when you cut off the top of a tree’s canopy. Doing this kills the tree and does not make it any safer during a storm. No more than 25% of leaves and branches should be trimmed.
- Do not “lion tail” your trees. This is when you cut the smaller branches off from larger branches which results in all the foliage being left at the end of each branch. Doing this makes the tree top heavy.
- Turn off your irrigation system.
- Make sure to dispose of all tree cuttings, branches, and stumps in your yard.
It is best to trim back trees and take certain precautions now. Using these tips may better prepare your home for the upcoming hurricane season.
by Shane Humble, Complete Property Maintenance, Inc.