Remove any dead trees near the home and replace with wind resistant native trees as gumbo limbo, southern magnolia, bald Cypress, live oak.
Trees with one dominant trunk fair better in a storm than trees with co-dominant trunks.
Prune dead branches and weak overhanging branches from all trees. Trees that are preventively pruned are less likely to fail than neglected trees. Do not top trees, topped tree branches can easily break off in a windstorm. Contact a ISA certified arborist @
www.isa-arbor.com to prune large trees properly, allowing for wind to pass through a dense tree canopy.
Aerial roots should be left on ficus trees. Aerial roots emerge from the branch and grow to the soil, this helps hold the branch on the tree. Aerial roots also act to hold the tree firm to the soil. When wind blows, aerial roots that are secured into the ground act to reduce the likelihood of the tree falling over.
Cabbage, phoenix and coconut palms are able to stand firm in many hurricanes. Over-pruning palms can increase their susceptibility to damage in storms.
Clear leaf debris from rain gutters and downspouts.
If a hurricane is eminent, remove coconuts and large fruits that can act as missiles in the wind. Put away lawn furniture and grills, garbage cans and hoses.
For information on preparing your home landscape for windstorms contact the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener Volunteer hotline at 233-1750, M-F