Hurricane season is right around the corner and you’re in full swing to prepare. Stocking up on supplies and ensuring your house is prepared to handle the high winds, rain, and flood water. In the midst of this time of preparation you may have heard that your palm trees should be trimmed to avoid damage during the storms. This style of pruning has been dubbed “hurricane trimming” or the “hurricane cut” and is sold as a way to protect your property and your trees.
What is Hurricane Trimming?
Hurricane trimming has been gaining popularity and cuts all but a few fronds from our trees. The idea behind it is that by reducing the number of fronds the less affected the tree will be by the high winds. Although our palm trees can benefit from proper preparation for hurricanes, hurricane trimming causes more damage than good. There are several reasons that hurricane cuts aren’t a good option for palm trees.
Meant to Handle the Weather
Although homeowners who decide to have their palms hurricane trimmed mean the best, it’s really not necessary. Palm trees are native to Florida and many tropical areas throughout the world. The same places that are susceptible to hurricanes. These trees have not only survived storm after storm, but they also thrive in these climates.
Their long trunks sway in the wind, while the fronds allow most of the wind to pass through them. Watching as palms sway and their fronds swing wildly makes it seem that the plant is under much more stress than it actually is. Again, these trees are meant to handle the high wind and this movement is evidence of that.
Fronds Protect the Bud
Another overlooked reason to avoid the hurricane cut is protecting the bud. The bud of a palm tree lives at the center of all the fronds. This is where all future growth occurs, and the fronds are there to help protect it. By removing a large number of healthy fronds, you are actually removing that protective barrier for the heart of your tree.
When hurricane force winds come through palms that have been cut, they have nothing to protect their central bud. This can result in a damaged bud or even the death of the tree. A weakened bud doesn’t just affect frond growth, it also determines how the trunk will develop as the tree continues to grow. Those that have been damaged will result in weaker trunks that will be more susceptible to damage in future storms.
Deprived of Nutrients
Finally, by removing a large portion of a trees leaves you remove its food source. Plants require energy from the sun to grow and be healthy. Removing this fuel source right before a big storm is asking for trouble and an unhealthy tree going forward.
How to Prepare Palm Trees for Hurricane Season
Although hurricane trimming is not a good way to prepare, there are a few things you can do to help keep your home and palm trees safe this season.
Prune Dead Leaves
Before hurricane season starts it’s a good idea to have a professional company come and clean-up your palm trees. And by clean-up we don’t mean mutilate. Removing any dead leaves is a great way to keep your tree healthy and full while still protecting your property.
Remove any Coconuts or Seed Pods
Similarly removing coconuts or seed pods means that these are less likely to damage the rest of your property during a storm without damaging your trees.
Getting ready for hurricane season takes a lot of prep work and we don’t want you to add an additional task to your list. Especially one that does more damage than good. Let us come take care of your yard while you prepare the rest of your home and family.