Hurricane Barry went right by us thankfully. Barry was the second named storm of the 2019 Hurricane Season. Andrea was the first and was a Tropical Storm that caused $550 million in damages, and 21 people lost their lives. Hurricane Barry made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane on Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
The 2019 Hurricane Season officially started June 1st, and it goes until November 30th. Are you prepared for the next big storm to come to Tampa Bay? There are a lot more names to assign to possible future storms.
Listed below is the official list of the storm names from The National Hurricane Center for the upcoming 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. We have had two storms to date.
Here is the breakdown of the sustained wind speeds for each type of storm. They can create a total devastation of your home and property.
Type of Storm Sustained Wind Speeds
Tropical Storm 39 to 73 mph
Hurricane – Cat 1 74 to 95 mph (Minor damage)
Hurricane – Cat 2 96 to 110 mph (Extensive)
Hurricane – Cat 3 111 to 129 mph (Devastating)
Hurricane – Cat 4 130 to 156 mph (Catastrophic)
Hurricane – Cat 5 157 mph and stronger (Worst)
Hurricanes and tropical storms hit Florida almost every year, often causing extensive damage to landscapes. But you can easily make your landscape more hurricane-resistant so that it’s less likely to suffer damage during a significant storm. University of Florida UF IFAS has some tips that we shared here.
The best way to protect your landscape from hurricane damage is by planning it carefully. Choose species that are more wind resistant, and plant them away from utilities and structures. Select trees from the nursery that have straight (not circling) roots, one dominant trunk, and branches that are spaced apart from each other. If your trees don’t have these attributes, they should be pruned so that they do.
A tree more likely to survive storms is compact, with a low center of gravity; a robust and sturdy trunk; and a deep, symmetrical root system. The native live oak is an excellent example of a “survivor” tree, given the right environment and care during its life.
On the other hand, a more vulnerable tree during storms is one with a high center of gravity, a dense canopy, a rotten trunk, two or more trunks, or shallow roots. Shallow roots result from shallow soil or a high water table.
Tall, slender pine trees that were part of a forest before suburban development are susceptible to storm damage. These trees relied on one another for wind resistance and support during storms. Without each other, they are unprotected from storm damage. Consider removing tall, slender trees from your landscape for safety and replacing them with trees that are known to be sturdier during storms. Existing trees with severed root systems from construction can also fail in storms by falling over. Consider reducing their size or removing these weak trees. Have a tree expert come out and inspect your existing trees to recommend removing the problem trees.
Any tree is more susceptible to toppling over during a storm. Especially if that tree suffers from any construction damage to its roots, poor growing conditions, small root zones, and disease or insect problems.
Give trees adequate rooting space with no obstructions (sidewalks, buildings, and streets). For small trees, there should be at least 3 meters by 3 meters unobstructed around the trunk; for large trees, provide at least 10 meters by 10 meters. Consider planting trees in groups as opposed to individually. This will make them more wind-resistant.
Trees planted in the last five years and very old, large trees are the most susceptible to hurricane damage. Young trees don’t have an extensive root system to anchor them in the wind, while mature trees often have some rotten and weak branches. Large trees should be evaluated (checked) by a tree expert for defects that are not visible from the ground.
Correct pruning is the most essential part of helping trees survive hurricanes. Train young trees, so they develop a sturdy, well-spaced framework of healthy branches along a dominant trunk. Maintain this form as far up into the tree as possible by reducing the length of competing stems and branches.
For trees larger than about 15 feet tall, hire a tree expert to prune your trees before the hurricane season. The expert will remove dead branches that can fall on houses, cars, and people. Overly long branches should be shortened and branches with cracks removed or shortened. Branches with the same diameter as the trunk will be shortened and the outer edges (not the interior) of the canopy will be thinned, making your tree less likely to be blown over. Low branches that are close to your roof should be removed or shortened, as well. Be sure to have your trees evaluated by a professional about every two years.
If you need a quality tree service to trim and prune your trees, give us a call today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.
Forever Green Landscape and Tree Service is a full-service tree company located in St. Petersburg, Florida that has been serving Tampa Bay since 1978. If you are looking for tree care services – from removing dead or diseased trees, trimming overgrown or hazardous trees and delicately pruning valuable fruit trees, and stump grinding – you can count on our reasonable rates and quality workmanship. Contact us today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.