Droughts & High Wind: A Dangerous Mix
The recent May storms in Austin, TX, following one of the worst droughts in recorded Texas history, caused havoc to the tree population across Central Texas. The heavy rains and strong winds were the culprits that caused the uprooting of many in the area as well.
Although the rain was a much-needed blessing for our lakes and waterways, the prolonged drought caused the soil around many of the trees to harden and crack, causing the soil that supports the root system to weaken. So, as the rains fell and softened the soil around many of the root systems, they were literally washed out.
The combination of weakened soil, heavy rains and strong winds quickly eroded the remaining soil and, as a result, trees across the area started falling down, damaging properties, buildings, and their surroundings.
Protecting Personally-Owned Trees is a Great Responsibility
Indeed although every Elm, Oak or Ash in the area can’t possibly be properly cared for, what can we do in order to help them, we are responsible for get through this trying season we are all now faced with?
Trees play a very important role in our environment, ecology and society. They provide a lot of benefits that money or even modern inventions cannot equal. They improve the quality of air, help in the conservation of water and lower the temperature, especially during hot summer days. Plus, of course, don’t forget the aesthetic appeal it adds to the surroundings.
That’s why it is important to take care of our trees. I think it is high time to give value to them and treat them with high regard because despite the benefits they provide, they pose a great danger and hazard as well, especially when not taken care of properly or maintained over time.
Trees are vital to the natural landscape because of the weather-sheltered ecosystem that their foliage provides. www.plt.org.
What Are Some of the Warning Signs?
Let’s take some time to learn on how to spot hazardous situations and discover ways on how to take care of them. It is important to take preventive measures so you can benefit from worry-free days ahead.
Some Symptoms of Tree Defects:
- Dead or dying branches
- Detached branches hanging in the tree
- Any open cavity or rotten parts in the trunk or branch
- Utility line adjacent to the tree
- Tree is developing a strong lean
- New branches growing from a single trunk
- Premature development of its leaves – unusual color and size
- Roots have been damaged or injured
- Changes in the soil’s condition and/or level due to improvements or constructions in the surroundings
- Fork trunks
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the well-being of his or her property, including it’s landscape architecture. Always check their health, as it is better to be prepared than to be sorry. So, take some time today, and go out and check the condition of each one.
Handling Yard Hazards the Right Way
The best person to help you manage, maintain and treat your leafy friends over their lifetime is a certified arborist. An arborist is an expert in caring for trees. He can give you professional and expert guidance on how to take care of them.
Here are a few arbor tips from a professional.
Get rid of any obstructions – clear the surroundings from anything that might be damaged in case one falls.
- Prune periodically – it is important to remove all damaged branches.
- Give physical support – put a cable and braces on the trunk to support its weak branches. This is important to increase the strength and stability.
- Give appropriate care regularly – It is essential that they be given proper care on a schedule, especially the more mature ones. Regularly water, fertilize, prune and put mulch around the drip line in order to help retain moisture between watering.
- Removing a tree – this is the last resort. This is only done to prevent and avoid future hazards. I suggest, though, that you plant a replacement if one needs to be removed.
If you regularly check the health of your green buddies and you realize that one needs to be treated, then don’t hesitate to contact a certified arborist. The best attitude to have is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.