Storm Resistant Trees

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Recently in central Virginia we experienced incredibly high winds and rain followed by downed trees, damaged property and lack of electrical power.  The storm caused widespread wreckage to limbs, branches and even entire trees.   Which brings us to the question:  Is there such a thing as a storm tolerant/resistant tree?

When dealing with powerful winds, virtually no plant is indestructible.  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 and Leyland cypress 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
  • Hickories

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 or, in certain cases, have problematic trees removed before any calamity occurs.

Plant small stature trees under power lines such as:

  • Redbuds
  • Dogwoods
  • Fringe trees

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.

J.W. Townsend Landscapes 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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