We’ve already experienced a decent share of storms here in the Ohio Valley but as history shows us, we’re certainly in for more.
While we might feel helpless against the more aggressive whims of mother nature, there are precautions we can take in hopes of keeping our trees as steady as possible. In fact, FEMA says that three-fourths of the damage that trees incur during storms is predictable and preventable.
If you see a tree you believe to be too weak to stand up against the force, a propping system could be the solution. Otherwise, your local Louisville tree care professionals have a few tips for prepping your trees:
Protect by pruning properly. Say that 3 times fast.
A tree will react to the wind according to its distribution of leaves and branches. Essentially, wind forces seem to be more strenuous & destructive when the foliage is the heaviest. While our trees need rain to drink and grow, too much of it can loosen the soil around the tree and add weight to the leaves and limbs which further weakens the tree against the winds. And that’s not even getting into the damage hail can bring.
Improper pruning will only make your tree more vulnerable to damage. So we recommend either calling your local tree care professional or studying up on the best pruning methods. You’ll want to remove the dead, or nearly-dead, branches to help reduce resistance, including the outer third of the crown, while keeping as many around as you can for photosynthesis and protection. Avoid “Lion’s Tailing” which happens when an excessive amount of lower branches are thinned giving the tree a lion’s tail shape. The tree will then be top-heavy and more vulnerable to toppling over in heavy winds.
Mulch for Stronger Roots
It is important to protect the root system of the tree as well. A wide mulch ring around the base of the tree means that a lawn mower can’t accidentally damage what’s underneath. It also allows water and nutrients to drain down through the soil to the roots
Most of us have been told since childhood to stay away from trees when there’s a threat of lightning. Unfortunately, trees can’t really move out of harm’s way. Lightning protection systems may be a good investment. We’d be happy to help you find the right one.