Hurricane Landscaping

Forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are predicting an above-normal hurricane season.

A graphical image of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook showing a prediction of 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes with a sixty percent chance of a above-normal season. It also shares the NOAA Twitter handles, at NWS and at NHC underscore Atlanctic

Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with August and September being the most active months.

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season was expected to be a near-normal season. Closely following the forecast, 2019 produced 18 named storms. This included six hurricanes. Only three of these were "major" (category 3 or above). Overall, however, the 2019 season was still above average. In fact, it was the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity. It was also the second wettest year on record for the U.S.

Most important during a hurricane is your family's safety. One thing you can do to protect your family and home is to hurricane-proof your landscape. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Right Tree, Right Place – Choose trees that are well-suited for your landscape. Plant larger trees away from your home, power lines, and other structures. This reduces the risk of branches—or trees—falling on your home. It also prevents them from knocking down power lines.

Choose Wind-resistant Species – Some trees are more wind-resistant than others. Suggested wind-resistant varieties include sabal, manila, and pygmy date palms. Gumbo limbo, live oak, and sea grape also have high hurricane survival rates.

Regular Pruning and Maintenance – Regular pruning has several benefits. It promotes healthy growth and removes dead, dying, or diseased limbs. Assess trees, paying close attention to the branches. Remove limbs that are dying, damaged, or weakly connected to the trunk. Thinning or reducing the crown can reduce trunk movement during a hurricane. You can also prune to reshape the tree. When done correctly, reshaping can make trees more resistant to wind damage. If branches are large or high in the tree, seek help. It's best to hire a certified arborist to prune.

Planting in Groups or Masses – Planting groups of mixed trees together can greatly enhance wind resistance. The trees buffer each other as well as your property and landscape plants.

After a hurricane, remember that your landscape needs to be maintained. Damaged trees need to be removed or restored.

And be sure to check out our Trees and Hurricanes website. This resource provides detailed information on storm damage prevention and treatment. (Disponible en EspaƱol)

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