Friday, June 12, 2020

Hurricane Season Preparation and Your Trees

How should I prune my palms and trees to reduce storm damage in Fort Lauderdale? This question is often asked now that hurricane season has arrived. No tree or palm is 100% immune to storm impacts, but with proper pruning the chances of a tree or palm failure can be reduced. 

Be wary of individuals or companies recommending poor tree pruning practices. Some examples of poor pruning are shown in the illustration below. 




Poor Pruning Practices

Such practices put tree(s) under stress, compromise the structure and/or artificially raise the trees’ center of gravity during a storm. When selecting an arborist, be sure to ask for a copy of the company’s general liability insurance, current International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) credential, worker’s compensation insurance and to see the company’s Broward County Tree Trimmer License. Companies that do not have insurance or are not registered as a Broward County Tree Trimmer should be actively avoided. 


It is recommended to have your trees inspected by an ISA certified arborist annually and, if no defects are found, pruning may not be required . If your tree or palm needs pruning, the proper tree pruning practices will likely be followed. It is important to note that all branches and debris should be properly disposed of after pruning because any debris left lying around can become airborne during a windstorm event.  


Proper Tree Pruning Practices
 
Palm Trimming

  • Avoid removing any live fronds originating above the horizontal plane
























Sabal palm trees; photo by thesix on Flickr
  • Remove dead, dying, or diseased fronds
  • Fruits and coconuts can also be removed 


Shade Tree Trimming 


  • Pruning should emphasize branch reduction rather than removal for healthy trees
  • Prune young trees every 3 to 4 years to produce strong branch structure; mature trees every 4-5 years
  • Prune to produce a single dominant trunk
  • Remove dead, diseased, broken and cross branches
  • Correct unbalanced tree canopies by pruning long branches back to lateral branches
  • Remove, or reduce the weight on branches with included bark (i.e., bark trapped in the tight angle between two branches growing closely together).







Steps for a proper tree pruning cut
Do not attempt to prune trees or palms adjacent to overhead utility lines by yourself. Contact FPL or utilize an ISA certified arborist qualified to perform utility line clearance pruning.


It is generally too late to prune your trees once a storm is on its way, so contact an ISA certified arborist well in advance of hurricane season.  For additional information concerning proper palm and tree care please visit the following websites: 

https://www.treesaregood.org/treeowner/pruningyourtrees







Thursday, May 21, 2020

Right Tree Right Place

Trees should be planted in areas with appropriate room for proper canopy and root growth. Trees planted in too small an area for proper growth can cause issues including conflicts with utilities, create trip hazards, damage/destroy infrastructure and can become a liability issue for both public and private property owners.
This is especially important as many of these trees damage power poles and utility lines during storm events. These trees also do not reach their full potential and often end up stunted and needing replacement much sooner than properly planted trees in good locations.  Right Tree Right Place Principles are discussed in additional detail by FPL, Arbor Day and on the City of Fort Lauderdale Green Your Routine website.

"Right Tree Right Place Guidelines"
Image used courtesy of FPL.

"Improper tree species planted underneath utility lines"
 Image used courtesy of Canopy.org

"Live Oak trees planted in swale with insufficient root space"

Friday, April 24, 2020

Arbor Day 2020

Please take a few moments to enjoy the value trees bring to our daily lives during Arbor Day 2020. Due to the realities of COVID 19 virtual Arbor Day celebrations are the new normal. So keeping with this vein I've included a link to the history of Arbor Day provided by the Arbor Day Foundation and some photographs from recent City Arbor Day celebrations in 2018 and 2019. To read further about the History of Arbor Day please click here.





Monday, March 16, 2020

Tree Giveaway Event Cancellation

Please be aware that the City Tree Giveaway Event previously scheduled for March 21st, 2020 at Riverland Park has been cancelled due to concerns over public health and safety. I'll post additional information on a new time/date for the event as soon as available.


Monday, March 2, 2020

Right Tree Right Place

Trees should be planted in areas with appropriate room for proper canopy and root growth. Trees planted in too small an area for proper growth can cause issues including conflicts with utilities, create trip hazards, damage/destroy infrastructure and can become a liability issue for both public and private property owners.

This is especially important as many of these trees damage power poles and utility lines during storm events. These trees also do not reach their full potential and often end up stunted and needing replacement much sooner than properly planted trees in good locations.  Right Tree Right Place Principles are discussed in additional detail by FPL, Arbor Day and on the City of Fort Lauderdale Green Your Routine website.

Image used courtesy of FPL.

"Improper tree species planted underneath utility lines"
 Image used courtesy of Canopy.org

"Live Oak trees planted in swale with insufficient root space"

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Upcoming Quarterly Tree Giveaway

Preregistration is now open for the City of Fort Lauderdale's next Neighbor Tree Giveaway event to be held on March 21st at Riverland Park. Please view the below flyer for additional information and to pre-register click here.




Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tu B'Shevat New Year of the Trees Ceremony

Every year the Jewish community plants trees in honor of Tu B'Shevat the "New Year for Trees". The tradition began in Israel in 1887 when the Rabbi Ze’ev Yaavetz, a Polish-born historian began taking out his students on Tu B'Shevat to plant trees, thus establishing the holiday tradition of arbor day in Israel. This marks the fourth consecutive year the City of Fort Lauderdale will be partnering locally with the Consul General of Israel for a Tree Planting Ceremony at Sistrunk Park.