We all know that summer storms will occur in Northeast Ohio, bringing strong winds, heavy rains, lightning, and even hail. But do we know how our trees and landscape will handle those storms? If your trees are not prepared for high winds, they could become significantly stressed and weakened during a summer storm, putting you and your property at risk. However, if you take some time to prepare your trees, they will have a much better chance of enduring a strong summer storm.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Prune to protect the tree’s strength.  One of the greatest threats to your tree’s health—and your property—during a storm is a heavy tree canopy. A dense canopy can result in significant broken branches. If you prune your trees regularly, you will thin out the canopy and remove any dead or dying branches that are more likely to snap and fall during high winds. Though you may be able to safely prune your trees at ground level, we advise consulting a professional tree company for assistance.

Independent Tree Example of Lightning Damaged TreeMulch to shield the tree’s root system. You may not realize how much a strong storm can harm a tree’s root system. Planting a ring of mulch around a tree gives it a layer of protection and also helps it to retain moisture, letting more water reach the tree’s roots.

Keep an eye out for cavities. If you notice a hole, or cavity, in your tree’s trunk, consider that as a red flag. Cavities can signal problems with the overall strength of your tree, which could put it at risk during a storm. Notify your local arborists as soon as possible if you believe your tree could be at risk.

Consider additional protection from lightning. Unfortunately, a lightning strike can destroy even the oldest, most beloved trees during a storm. Pruning and mulching will help to strengthen your tree, improving the likelihood of its survival after a lightning strike. If there are particular trees on your property that you worry about being struck by lightning, you may want to consider installing lightening protection. An arborist can help you determine if this is a good option for your trees.

Call on the professionals at Independent Tree to ensure your trees are ready for summer storms. We will help you properly care for and protect your trees.