Storm proofing trees on the Central Coast
Published 10 December 2019
It seems like every year there is another storm that sweeps down the coast leaving a trail of damage in its wake. The aftermath can be a disaster with trees falling over power lines, homes and cars.
There are quite a few things you can do to prevent your tree from being the next victim and leaving you thousands of dollars out of pocket. We discuss them below.
The way a tree is pruning can reduce the likelihood of a tree falling to almost zero. When trees pass through the canopy of a tree, the branches and leaves act as a windbreak meaning the trees trunk and root system is put under huge amounts of pressure.
By reducing the amount of foliage in the trees canopy means there is less canopy for the wind to catch, plus the tree reacts by using the extra resources to grow even stronger roots.
Here are a few things you should focus on when storm-proofing your tree on the Central Coast.
Remove dead limbs – Dead branches are very weak and rigid. These will be the first to go in a strong wind and can cause lots of damage if they are large enough. Deadwood removal should be done every 2 years for large trees.
Thin out trees branches for better airflow – Allowing air to pass through the canopy of large trees easily will mean the wind has less surface area to catch which means less pressure on the tree.
Remove outer 3-4th order branches – These are the branches out the outermost extremities of the trees canopy. By removing these branches, you are reducing the weight each main branch has to hold. This weight is multiplied with the pressure of wind, so this works to prevent large branches from snapping in the wind.
Remove crossing branches – Crossing branches rub on each other in the light wind which peels away the protective bark layer. This allows pests and fungus to set in weakening the branch. When a storm comes through that weak branch is more likely to snap.
Remove weight from uneven trees – If a tree has poor structure or weight distribution it is advisable to even things up to put less pressure on the root system in high winds.
Prune on a regular basis – Large trees should be tended to on a regular basis by removing 10% of foliage every 2 – 3 years. This greatly improves the tree’s overall health and allows the tree to grow a stronger root system and stronger branches.
Use a professional arborist – Pruning a tree yourself can cause more harm than good if you are not familiar with Australian standards. You are best seeking the services of a local Central Coast arborist.
Plant the right types of trees
If you are an avid gardener make sure you are not planting trees that are prone to being uprooted. A Eucalyptus Nicholii is a perfect example. These are shallow-rooted and are forever falling over in storms. Find something that is good in windy situations.
Protect your trees root system
Most people are focused on what is above ground and forget the roll a tree root system plays on its stability. Pruning tree roots close to the trunk, sealing the ground around a tree or compacting soil can all have devastating effects on your tree’s overall health and stability.
You should never directly or indirectly do anything near a tree that can affect a tree’s root system. Oil spills can kill a tree’s root system on one side causing the tree to fall over in time once those roots have died off. Always seek the advice of a local tree service before making any direct or indirect changes to a tree or its environment.
Offence or defense
Sometimes prevention is better than a cure and the only safe thing to do is to remove the tree before it comes down in s storm. Tree removal services on the Central Coast will be happy to inspect your trees and give a free quote for removal if it is found they are unsafe.
The safety of trees in amplified when dealing with trees in public spaces or in schools and daycare centers. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt, you should at least prune a tree you are worried about and have a serious discussion about its removal.