Storm Resistant Trees

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In central Virginia five years ago, as well as other areas around the country, (June 29, 2012), we experienced the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest derecho with incredibly high winds and rain followed by downed trees, damaged property, and lack of electrical power – even loss of life.   The destructive storm was amazingly quick and efficient and almost totally shut down many parts of the county due to the widespread wreckage of whole trees, limbs, branches and leaves.   Which brings us to the question; is there such a thing as a storm tolerant/resistant tree?

When dealing with winds clocked at more than 75 miles per hour, virtually nothing is indestructible with the possible exception of actual structures.  However, there are some trees that are more vulnerable than others to storm-related damage.  These trees include many of the fastest growing varieties:

  • bradford pears
  • tulip poplars
  • sycamores,
  • ash
  • trees that have weak or shallow root systems – pines, for example.

Other susceptible trees are those plants that have a prior injury or scar, have poor branch or trunk structure, have roots that have recently been disturbed – i.e. by construction – or trees that are on the edges of recently cleared property.

In general, native, slow-growing trees are the best for long-term landscape benefits; trees such as:

  • oaks
  • gums,
  • and hickories fit this category.

Proper tree selection and care are also critical.  Trees with a single straight leader or trunk tend to be stronger, and structural pruning can help resolve and/or reduce weaknesses.  It is important to be pro-active: in the face of an impending storm, move your cars from beneath vulnerable trees.

Plant small stature trees under power lines such as:

  • redbuds
  • dogwoods
  • and fringe trees are perfect for these locations.

Resolve now to look into proper tree care.  When replacing or adding trees to your landscape, be sure to purchase varieties that are consistent with your long-term goals for the property.

With the exception of moving vehicles, we can help you with proper tree care for your existing plants and suggest hardy and resilient replacement trees.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your particular situation.

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