Our area has been free of hurricane-strength winds for a number of years, there is however, a possibility of severe damage to trees and to the structures near them when a storm finally hits. Trees and shrubs, even those native to an area, can grow too massive or unbalanced to be able to stand windstorms. A regular system of pruning must be established; pruning should develop a sturdy, well-spaced framework of healthy branches carrying an open, leafy canopy that allows air to move freely. For proper tree pruning hire an ISA-certified arborist. To choose a ISA certified arborist near you contact the International Society of Arboriculture at (http://isa-arbor.com/). If you have coconut palms, preparing for storms includes harvesting all nuts that are of any size. Coconuts and most other large palms should have only dead leaves removed. The nuts and dead fronds can act as missiles if the wind catches them right. Do not, however, cut any green fronds, since this removes the protection for the bud. Last minute prunings can also blow around dangerously and should be disposed of safely before the wind event. For information on choosing wind resistant trees for your yard call the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener volunteer hotline M-F 9-4 233-1750.