Hurricane Preparation for Trees in the Landscape

By: Vacant, Environmental Horticulture Agent

June 1st marks the beginning of Hurricane season in Florida . Much of the hurricane damage that occurred last year in Alachua County was a result of trees falling and uprooting. There is still time to evaluate the trees in your landscape for potential hazards. Storm damage can be reduced with preventative action. Damage to trees from storms can be minimized by designing and implementing a tree management plan; contact your tree service company to make sure you are ready for hurricane season. There are certain species of trees that did not fare well in past hurricanes. These trees need to be evaluated closely to make sure that they are not a hazard.

  • Laurel Oak – Trees decay as they reach about 40 years old; roots rot, bark inclusions cause weakness.
  • Water Oak – Trees decay as they reach about 40 years old; roots rot.
  • Turkey Oak – Trees decay as they reach about 40 years old; roots rot.
  • Southern Red Oak – Butt rot occurs on old trees.
  • Chinaberry – Wood is weak; prevention is difficult.
  • Red Maple – Bark inclusions are common; branches with inclusions break easily in storms; preventative pruning can help minimize damage.
  • Pines – Pine branches broke and trunks snapped; prevention is difficult.
  • Pecan – Poor structure resulted in breakage; trees can be preventively pruned to minimize this.
  • Tulip Poplar – Many planted trees blew down in the hurricanes; there are other reports of good survival of planted trees; check for and cut circling roots at planting.
  • Southern Red Cedar – Weak wood breaks in strong storms; prevention is difficult.