Prepare the Trees Please
We love our trees in Texas – they provide much needed shade in the summers. But those same trees in a storm can become dangerous. High winds and lightning cause broken branches, splintered tree trunks and even the complete uprooting of a tree – which can cause significant damage to you, or your neighbor’s, property.
Like most things, maintenance is key to keeping them healthy and flourishing. Proper upkeep will prepare your trees to weather the storm – literally. Watering and fertilizing are important, but regular pruning can shape your trees in becoming more resistant to storms and weather damage.
Improper pruning can cause damage so if you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, it’s best to leave it to the experts. In general, the National Arbor Day Foundation recommends these tips for pruning and care:
- Keep branch angles at 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock. Narrower angles between 2 branches can become a weak point.
- The center of gravity for a tree should be over the trunk. Remove branches on the leaning side and encourage branch growth on the opposite side to ensure a stable center of gravity.
- Don't cut branches back to stubs. Long, natural limbs on a tree are strong and can withstand storm-like conditions. If a branch needs to be removed, cut it back to the main branch or to the tree's trunk. Do remove any temporary branches such as rubbing branches, suckers and water-sprouts.
- Conduct tree trimmings when it’s best for the type of tree. Some trees need to be pruned in a specific season to avoid pests and disease. As we head into winter, make sure your oak-trees get trimmed so they don’t end up with oak wit. Other types of trees that should be pruned in winter include apple, cedar, Douglas fir and spruce trees.
In general, trees that are healthy endure storms way better than the rest. If you don’t want your trees to end up deteriorating due to extreme weather conditions, then be a responsible tree owner—provide the plants with proper watering, regular and corrective pruning and nutrients.