Storms such as hurricanes and tropical storms leave devastating effects in their trail. Sights of plants toppled over, uprooted and smashed into buildings are common. Storms are characters by winds, flooding, and falling debris.
Necessary preparations to make before the storm.
Plan ahead: it is better to be safe than sorry. Outline some measure that you need to take when the storm hits. A saved garden can continue proving food even when the transportation system and other utilities are broken down.
plan ahead on how to save your garden leaves you with only the mandate of taking care of the family when the storm comes. Planning is not a complex or time-consuming effort as most of the plans to save the home can also save the garden.
Installing Stormwater systems: Stormwater management systems such as storm drains, gutters, wet and dry detention ponds, and retention basins are necessary for removal of water from gardens and neighborhoods during heavy rains. The storm drains should remain clear and littering which can cause blockage should be avoided.
Irrigation systems: All irrigation systems should be off when a storm is anticipated. Storms bring a lot of water and you do not want your plants to have too much water. Do not depend on automaton alone to shut off your irrigation water during a storm. Most sprinklers can continue running even during a storm which can only exacerbate the situation. Excess watering of plants encourages fungal diseases.
Handle debris the right way: The right way of handling debris is disposing it away from gardens as soon as it arrives. Branches and other debris produced after pruning should be removed on site if a storm is imminent. During the storm, free debris becomes dangerous projectiles.
A storm-resistant garden:
Tree that is properly pruned can save a garden in case of a storm. These trees need to be strong, wind resistant and growing away from buildings. Weak trees can cause extensive damage and even threaten lives during storms. Before planting trees for the purpose of storm-proofing your garden, a lot of research is necessary. Put severe weather into account and plant only those species that can withstand such conditions.
Most storm-resistant trees are native to stormy and windy regions and hence can resist hurricane-force winds and floods. Such trees have deep and strong root systems and shed their leaves easily to avoid blocking winds. Examples of these trees include bald Cyprus, live oak, winged elm and Magnolia. Trees that are fast growers with weak trunks, and shallow root systems should be avoided.
After the storm:
Venture into the garden only when the storm is completely over and be wary of weak or hanging branches. Cleaning up the garden should be the first activity. Get rid of any debris and fallen branches from your garden.
Stormwater washes away mulch from gardens. Mulch should be replaced once most of the stormwater has dried away.
Fertilizers should be added after the storm. It is important to note that applying fertilizer prior to a heavy rain or storm will not benefit the plants. Most of the fertilizer will be washed away into water bodies where it causes the growth of algae.
Storm Proofing is Important For Your Trees
The aesthetic financial and social value of trees can all be lost in the event of a storm. So it’s important to have storm-proofing for trees. Snow, ice, high-velocity winds, tornadoes, and hail are some of the natural perils. Some trees can be damaged partially while some sustain injuries that cannot be treated to regain their health and value to a property. Depending on the strength and intensity of a storm damage can range from minimal to intensive. Damaged trees are a source of concern to the people in the surrounding.
Making the right decisions after a storm is a critical process. The assistance of experienced arborists can help determine whether a tree requires removal or treatment. Under normal weather patterns, trees condition themselves to withstand winds and lightening storms. They adjust their growth to cope with external loading. However, hurricane-force winds can destroy entire forests. These damaged trees pose risks to personal safety as well as the safety of adjacent properties. Despite the impact that these storms have it is important to still consider the numerous advantages that trees have. Trees in a compound add beauty, moderate the elements of weather and increase property values.
Research has been conducted after previous storms on ways to storm-proof your trees. They have provided valuable knowledge on why and how trees fall when hit by a storm. This article targets individuals who wish to develop knowledge to grow more storm-resistant urban forests to minimize the impact of future storms.
Common injuries sustained after a storm.
Failing of the stem: External forces such as strong turbulent winds take advantage of the weak points in a tree. Trees are likely to crack or snap at these points of weakness. Weak points can be caused by previous injury points or areas where the tree was exposed to a disease or insect infestation. The damage from stem failure is mostly beyond repair. It is, therefore, necessary for an arborist to assess a tree and give recommendations to avert disasters.
Branch failure: Poorly attached branches are often the prime target of strong winds or storms. Accumulation of ice or snow on branches also cause loading on branches which often leads to breakage. Damage to branches is usually not lethal to trees unless damage of the crown is above 50 percent. However, these branches pose serious safety issues. It is imperative for a landowner or manager to learn to recognize signs of damage like death breakage or hanging limbs to reduce risks. The assistance of a certified arborist is often needed as damage branches can be hard to identify and require close inspection.
Twisting of the crown: Uneven crowns can result due to poor pruning techniques. Uneven wind loading causes a twist on the array of leaves, branches, and twigs that constitute the crown. Twisting leads to cracking around areas of weakness like old wounds. This often leads to failure.
Other effects of storms include uprooting of an entire tree This occurs when the wind loading in the aerial part of the tree weighs heavily on the root system. A number of factors like decays and pest attacks predispose a tree to poor anchorage and health which in turn makes toppling by winds easy. Trees that do not fall over during storms can sustain huge stresses on their root system. Roots that are damaged or diseased can cause a tree to lean and fall.
What are the mitigation methods?
Studies have shown that;
Trees growing individually are hardest hit than trees growing in groups. A group can be defined as five or more trees growing within ten feet of each other but not in neat rows. Planters should ensure good spacing between trees to encourage the growth of a vibrant and strong root system. Planting trees in groups of five or well-spaced clusters is recommended.
Some tree species resist strong winds better than others. wind resistance is the ability of trees to withstand hurricane force winds without easily uprooting or breaking. It is recommendable to plant species that have been shown to more wind resistant. Planting different varieties, ages, and layers to maintain diversity is also recommended.
Old and hazardous tree species that have demonstrated poor survival should be considered for removal. Such trees pose danger to people and property. Certified arborists can be contacted to give advice on the resistance ability of various species.