Help your trees withstand stormy weather.

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Heavy rain, freezing temps, high winds or a combination of any of these can stress your trees. Preventing the worst from happening can be as simple as being prepared. However, there are four key preventative measures that can reduce damage to your trees and property and maximize your safety when storms hit.

Structural Pruning
Prepare your garden and prune trees now. Falling leaves from deciduous trees provide enhanced visibility to evaluate structural problems. Without foliage to obstruct the view, it’s easier to optimize aesthetic and structural pruning decisions. Preventative pruning will protect trees from the toll heavy ice and snow can take on live oaks, magnolias and other evergreens when the weight of the snow on branches can break limbs from the trunk.

Add mulch around the base of your trees to buffer soil temperatures and allow water and nutrients to drain down through the soil into the root system. Bare soil around your trees can easily wash away during heavy storms, leaving your trees stripped of important nutrients and a necessary layer of protection that can protect root systems during cold weather. Mulching will also reduce storm water runoff, help the soil and root systems absorb the water better, and reduce unhealthy impacts on groundwater resources.

Hillsides and Slopes
Fast growing ground covers with fibrous root systems or the use of hemp nets can control erosion, reinforce slope areas with unstable soil and keep landscaped areas in place during heavy rains.

Aerating turf and adding soil amendments will bring oxygen to root systems, enable porosity, and help avoid waterlogged soil, that saturated by heavy rain can cause trees to fall over. When landscaped sites do not have ideal drainage, we recommend reshaping the terrain to create contours, furrows, bioswales, or interim levees to help redirect water into new drainage patterns.

Pruning large trees and shrubs carries risk and often requires specialized equipment and skills. Professional certified arborists have all of the required safety equipment and liability insurance in place. Seek trained arborists and diagnosticians through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).

~ Wayne Hitt, Certified Arborist, Lambert Landscape Company

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