Midwest Storm Season: Prepare Yourself And Your Yard

In Minnesota, storm season is upon us. We have all heard the tornado siren drills and seen the first heavy rains, so it is time to start preparing yourself and your yard for the big storms that are most certainly on their way.

STORM PREPARATION FOR TREES

Heavy winds are hard on tress; if the tree is not strong enough or poorly maintained, a big gust of wind could leave you with a tree in a hazardous position. Here are a few things you can do, from planting to pruning, to decrease the chance of a storm causing your tree or large branches to fall:

PLANT TREES WHEN THEY ARE SMALL

Smaller trees are better able to grow elaborate, hardy root systems than larger trees.

REMOVE THE STAKES QUICKLY

When you plant a tree, don’t leave the stakes in too long. Allowing the tree to flex in the wind encourages the growth of a sturdy root system and trains the trunk to be stronger.

PRUNE BRANCHES

Prune any dead, diseased and weakly attached branches before they become larger than two inches in diameter. This will prevent these specific branches from falling and it will make the tree more structurally sound.

ELIMINATE CO-DOMINATE BRANCHES

Most trees should have one main stem. Forked trees should be pruned so the stem has no competition from large branches. The method for pruning forked trees depends on the species, so it is best to consult an arborist.

ELIMINATE LOPSIDED CROWNS

If more the 70% of the crown is on one side of a mature tree, it may need to be removed. Unequally distributed weight decreases the stability of a tree.

DON’T OVER FERTILIZE

Trees that “overeat” become unstable.  Too much nitrogen from fertilizer or water can cause a tree to increase the crown surface area and/or decrease the rooting area.

GET YOUR YARD CHECKED

Before our first major storm hits, call a certified arborist to inspect your yard. An arborist will be able to spot weak or diseased trees and dangerous branches.

We can’t prevent storms, but we can protect our family and property by properly caring for our trees, taking action to fix hazardous trees and preparing them to for every season.