Why do trees blow over when storms roll through here in southwest Florida. Other damages can include area flooding, downed electrical lines, etc. The worst of them (and actually the cause of some power outages) is when trees topple over. We have seen root system pull up and break water services to homes and irrigation systems as well. They can cause serious damage, but one thing that many people wonder about is what causes them to blow over? Today’s article will talk about some of the issues that cause trees to fall over during storms, as well as some ways to minimize the risk.
There are several things that could be the cause of trees blow over during a storm. Here are the big 3 that are the highest probability.
- Weak roots: If the tree is of the variety that has a shallow root structure or that the roots of which are unhealthy, then they won’t be able to hold on when the heavy rain and wind come through. This is also sometimes called the wind-throw effect, for obvious reasons. Now, some trees are more susceptible to this. Trees with shallow roots like cottonwood, willows, and poplars have a higher risk of falling during storms when the ground gets soft. This is where our arborist can check your trees and provide the tree with vitamins and fertilizers if needed, especially with our Arborjet system.
- Rot in the tree: Sometimes, a tree can get injured. Lawn maintenance accidents, previous storms, vandalism, etc. can all cause a break in the tree’s protective layer. It’s through this injury that little decay-causing fungi can get in and start to rot the entire tree over time. This can weaken the tree and make it easier to knock over.
- Weak branch unions: If a tree doesn’t have strong branch unions, then there are higher chances of limbs breaking off. Where that breakage occurs, there comes the possibility of rot setting in. Keeping your tree healthy can also mean keep your trees properly trimmed.
If trees blow over because the wind is severe enough, is there anything you can do? You can do some work ahead of storm season to see if your trees are doing ok. Take some time to go over the trees on your property. Inspect them for any damage from all angles. If you find any, check for rot. It can be recognized by things like hollow areas, mushrooms, bulges, or large cracks.
If more than 40% of the tree has these noticeable issues, then it should be considered a high-risk tree. You should also check the areas of the ground near your trees. See if there are any large cracks, if the soil is too dry or too wet, etc. All of these things are signs that you should see about having someone remove it before the start of storm season.
So Why Do Trees Blow Over?
When storms take down trees, there is a huge risk of damage to power lines, cars, houses, and more. Understanding the trees in your landscaping and how they may be impacted in rough weather is the key to protecting yourself. You should know what your trees look like when they’re healthy so you can recognize when they are showing signs of not being in perfect condition.
You should also, if you’re starting your landscaping from scratch, take into consideration the root structure of the trees you want to use. If you know you live in an area that will get heavy storms, then choose trees that have a strong root system that will get deep in there and be able to hold their grip. Your trees don’t have to be the downfall (pun intended) of your property during storm season. Take the right precautions and you can rest assured that you and yours can stay as safe as possible.
The team at PCFTree can help to make sure your property is ready for possible storms and helping prevent your trees blow over. Keeping your trees healthy is an important part of protecting your investment. We look forward to working with you!