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A Guide to Tree Care After Hurricane Irma

With so many hurricanes happening in Florida, particularly Hurricane Irma, a lot of people have found that their trees have suffered major damage. If you have had problems with trees being damaged in a hurricane, below are some tips that you can use to help your trees and your landscape get back to normal.

Saving Trees

If you want to try and save your trees, you’ll be happy to know that a lot of trees that are down can be set right. Below are some tips that you can use to help with saving the trees.

  • Cover your trees’ roots so that they’re moist until you’re able to work more on them.
  • Work on pruning your tree’s root system so that it can be put back into the ground. You should also dig out the soil under the exposed roots, being careful not to break the roots. This is very important.
  • Right your tree and stake it, leaving the stake there for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Water the tree each day for 2-4 weeks. If it rains, less will be okay. Keep the area of the roots moist for a few months.

Pruning trees

If you want to preserve your tree after a hurricane, pruning is essential. It’s also important to prune them regularly too, since if you don’t prune them before, a big storm is going to do it.

  • Thoroughly examine your trees for any cracks in their trunks and their major limbs. The remainder of the tree should be removed if over half of its canopy’s badly damaged or gone.
  • When pruning the canopy, make sure it’s equally pruned so that your tree isn’t struggling to keep the leaves hydrated when it’s also trying to grow some new roots. On a mango tree, you can leave 20-50% of the leaves without worrying if it’s going to bounce back. The same goes for avocado trees.
  • Use a pruning or chain saw to clean up jagged ends and cut it at angles.
  • Don’t use any pruning paint since it will seal fungi inside the tree.
  • If there are larger broken branches, they should be pruned to where that branch forks if its bark’s intact.
  • If you’re cutting one of the big branches to its trunk, save its branch collar, which is the area that is raised where the branch came from.
  • When there is bark that is newly exposed, whitewash it using a latex paint that isn’t oil based so that your tree doesn’t get sunburn, which can happen.

What to Plant

Maybe you want to buy some new plants after a hurricane and you’re wondering what is a good choice to plant. Below are some suggestions on what you should plant.

  • Trees – Tabebuia and ficus trees fall easily, so you want to choose something that’s heartier. One tree that holds up well in hurricanes are poincianas, but this tree’s roots can be a problem when they’re planted close to a building. Avocado and mango trees, since they adapt well to conditions. You should also remember that when you plant a tree that is new, you should choose one that is small so that it can develop the right root system.
  • Butterfly garden – Choose plants that are going thrive in sunlight. A scarlet milkweed will draw queen, monarch, and soldier butterflies. Firebush will draw the beautiful zebra longwings. Another good choice is giant milkweed, which is resistant to drought.
  • Shrubs – It’s a good idea to surround a butterfly garden with some shrubs. This will help with protecting the butterflies from strong winds. Another good choice is leaving them some wet sand in a saucer so they can drink water. Some good choices are wax myrtle, Spanish Stopper, and spice wood.

These are the things that you can do after you have had a hurricane and you want to save your trees or you want to plant some new ones. They’ll help your landscape look beautiful and help you get back to a sense of normalcy.

Have more questions?

Florida Tree and Ground is a family owned company dedicated to satisfying the needs of our customers. We have a wide range of services, and our goal is to make your life easier by doing the work that you cannot. If you have any questions regarding our company or services, contact us today, we would love to help!

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