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Preparing Your Trees for Summer Storms in an Era of Climate Change

As the effects of climate change continue to unfold, we find ourselves facing increasingly severe weather patterns, including stronger and more frequent summer storms. With these storms comes the potential for damage to property and, unfortunately, trees are not exempt from the havoc they can wreak. However, there are proactive measures we can take to mitigate the risks posed by summer storms. One crucial step is to prepare the trees on your property, ensuring they are resilient and less susceptible to damage when the next storm strikes.


Tree Health Assessment::

Before diving head on into any pruning or removal efforts, it's essential to assess the health of the trees on your property. It is highly recommended that a Certified Arborist be consulted during the assessment. They will look for signs of disease, decay, or structural weakness. Dead branches, cracks in the trunk, and fungal growth are all indicators of potential problems. Trees in poor health are more likely to succumb to the forces of a summer storm, so addressing these issues early on is crucial.


Pruning for Airflow and Stability:

Proper pruning plays a vital role in preparing trees for summer storms. One objective of pruning is to promote airflow through the canopy, reducing the risk of branches snapping off in high winds. Thinning out dense foliage allows wind to pass through more freely, decreasing the "sail effect" that can make trees more susceptible to toppling over. Focus on removing crossing or rubbing branches, as well as those that are dead, weak, or diseased. Additionally, trimming back long or overextended branches can help maintain a more balanced canopy and reduce the risk of breakage. Large stems that tend to sway apart in the wind, can be cabled to reduce the likelihood they will separate and split during high winds. 


Removing Hazardous Trees:

In some cases, the best course of action may be to remove trees that pose a significant hazard during summer storms. Dead or severely weakened trees are prime candidates for removal, as they are more likely to topple over or shed large branch sections when subjected to strong winds. Similarly, trees with extensive root decay or compromised structural integrity may need to be taken down to prevent them from posing a danger to nearby structures or individuals.


Consulting with an Arborist:

While many tree maintenance tasks can be tackled by homeowners, there are instances where the expertise of a certified arborist is invaluable. Consulting with an arborist can provide valuable insights into the health and condition of your trees, as well as guidance on the best course of action to prepare them for summer storms. Arborists can identify potential hazards that may not be immediately apparent to the untrained eye and recommend appropriate pruning or removal strategies to mitigate these risks effectively.


Conclusion:

As we all confront the realities of climate change and the increasingly severe weather it brings, it's essential to take proactive steps to protect both our families as well as our properties and ensure the safety of ourselves and our communities. Preparing the trees on your property for summer storms is a crucial aspect of this preparedness effort. By assessing tree health, pruning for airflow and stability, removing hazardous trees, and consulting with arborists when necessary, you can minimize the risk of storm-related damage and help your trees weather the storms ahead. Remember, the investment you make in tree maintenance today can pay dividends in the form of safety and resilience tomorrow.


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