Thursday, October 25, 2018

King Tides and Your Trees

Trees face many challenges to their continued growth and survival including pressure from overdevelopment, climate change, exotic pests/diseases, storms etc. In Fort Lauderdale and much of South Florida, trees face the added challenge of exposure to salt water during King Tide events, which typically occur between August and November of each year. King Tides are the highest tides of the year and can cause salt water flooding of low-lying areas. Their occurrence corresponds to specific phases of the moon and can be exacerbated by other factors, such as storms.

Increased salt water flooding can cause tree impacts including premature leaf drop, leaf burn and, in some cases, complete death of the exposed tree. To combat the effects of King Tides on trees, the following are highly recommended for trees in locations vulnerable to tidal flooding:

  • Planting of Florida native salt tolerant trees (i.e. Orange Geiger, Gumbo Limbo, Jamaican Caper);
  • Utilization of planting methods such as Mounded Planting which elevates the trees roots above grade and reduces salt water exposure (reference image below); and
  • Implementation of a tree maintenance plan that includes proper watering, pruning and fertilization to optimize tree health.
Trees that are salt intolerant and/or stressed due to improper planting and maintenance are often the first to succumb to saltwater flooding events. For additional information on how to protect your trees and prepare for King Tides, please visit the following websites:

Mounded planting which can help protect newly planted trees from flooding and future grade changes.


Some examples of Florida Native Salt Tolerant Trees

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Call Before You Dig

November 30th, marks the end of this year’s hurricane season! It is important to utilize the Sunshine State One (811) service before beginning the replanting process and/or removing fallen trees from your property. Digging new holes, utilizing stump grinding machines, and clearing root balls from uprooted trees may impact underground utilities such as gas, power, cable wires, and pipes causing substantial additional damage. The Sunshine State One (811) service is responsible for coordinating visually marking of all underground utilities present at the service area (within the right of way swale) with flags painted in accordance with the American Public Works Association (APWA) Uniform Color Codes image below.

Note that Sunshine State One (811) is a totally free service and, per Florida State law, they are required to respond within two business days unless under a declared emergency. Visit Sunshine811 for additional information and/or to submit any official utility marking requests.