Preparing Your Trees for Hurricanes

In Maryland, the Atlantic hurricane season starts at the beginning of June and closes at the end of November. Statistically, the highest potential risk of a hurricane is in mid-September. Hurricane wind speeds can easily reach above 150 mph. That’s like having a massive tornado rip through the area.

While not all risks can be mitigated, homeowners in Maryland should be proactive against hurricane damage by conducting annual tree management and/or inspection of any that are at risk of causing damage if they fall.

Schedule Tree Service Proactively

Don’t wait for the threat to arrive. By the time you know a hurricane is heading toward the coast, it will be too late to get on an arborist’s schedule.

Early spring is the best time to have preventative tree service work done. This is when most trees are still dormant and can tolerate pruning well. However, many trees can also be pruned safely after they have bloomed. Your arborist will know when individual species can tolerate pruning.

Prepare Trees for Hurricane Damage 

Trees in doubt should come out. If your arborist identifies a hazard tree that has obvious risks of falling on your valued possessions like your home, vehicles, structure, driveway, fence (or those of your neighbor), take it down.

Remember, your homeowners’ insurance has the right to deny coverage of damage in the event a diseased or dead tree has not been maintained.

For those trees that stay:

  • Call a licensed, experienced arborist to do the work. Have them inspect your property and assess each tree that could be at risk.
  • Let the arborist know about any recent work that has been done on the property that may have inadvertently damaged trees. Such as digging, grading, tree clearing, or building. Those types of activities can damage roots, leaving trees prone to fall in a storm.
  • Clear all dead wood (branches, limbs) out of the tree. Those can become deadly projectiles in a hurricane
  • Don’t over-cut the tree. Cutting too much of the tree can kill the tree and/or leave it vulnerable to pests and disease. A good rule of thumb is not to cut more than 25% of the canopy.

Inspect for Potential Issues

During the rest of the season, keep an eye on your trees for any signs of pest or disease. That could include:

  • Unhealthy looking leaves: sudden defoliation, thinning, spotting, yellowing, or browning of leaves
  • Growth on the bark, such as mushrooms, spots, or fungi
  • Invasion of pests, small burrow holes, tunnels from termite damage, streaks on the bark

Allowing these trees to go unmanaged can mean the problem spreads to adjacent trees on your property.

Have questions about managing the trees on your property?

Call us today schedule an appointment, or fill out a quote request. We’d be happy to provide a free tree assessment to diagnose any trees of concern and inspect others on your property.

Operating from Glen Arm, MD, Manor Tree Service works in the eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County.

Preparing Your Trees for Hurricanes