Protecting Your Garden And Trees From Tropical Storms

There was a time back in the day when hurricanes and tropical storms ever made it up to New England. Already in 2020 the northeast has been vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

Gardeners who live in regions of the country where hurricanes and tropical storms were not a regular occurrence are probably more concerned about the condition of their gardens and trees.

Preparing For Hurricanes And Tropical Storms

The fear of a coming hurricane or tropical storm for gardeners who don’t regularly experience them can be a harrowing undertaking. Here are some tips that will give you a little peace of mind.

One of the most important considerations early on is to know when a storm could be bearing down on your region. Once you know, take a couple of days to prepare for it. It is really not beneficial to wait to the last minute and go out in the storm to move things into shelters. Do this some time before the storm arrives.

People who have experienced hurricanes and tropical storms on a regular basis urge that you trim your trees and leggy plants. This should be done as hurricane season begins and not when the storm is approaching. Don’t do large trimming projects right before a storm. Be aware that once the hurricane strength winds begin, branches can break off their trees and become heavy projectiles.

Codominant stem trees can split during a hurricane or tropical storm.
This white pine weeviled tree features codominant stems. (Courtesy: Placeuvm at

Turn off any irrigation systems you may have days before the arrival of a hurricane or tropical storm. It may be best to simply shut the main line and/or the power. If a tree falls and breaks the pipe, you’re going to have water running and adding to any floods.

Bring delicate plants indoors. This should include any plant that has delicate leaves or stands tall. These plants won’t survive well if they take a hit.

Of course, there will be plants that you can’t bring inside. Place these plants into a corner. An entrance way, screens, or garage can serve as a great protector. And surprisingly, you can use large hedges that have strong root systems under ground to serve as anchors.

Lay tall plants and trellises onto the ground. It could also help if you anchor them with rope and stakes. Trellises that are staked into the ground should be pulled out and laid down on the ground with the plants attached.

Pick fruit that is close to being ripe. It will most likely get ripped away anyway if you don’t harvest them.

Bring garden furniture into the garage or, if you don’t have a garage, inside the house. If the furniture can’t be brought indoors, stack them in a corner by a fence or under a tree or place in hedges. You can make sure they are secure by tying them to the fence, tree or hedge. Turn chairs upside down on top of one another and lay them down, and then stack a table on top and tie the whole group down.

There may be a temptation to put lawn furniture into your pool. That’s not a good idea. They can damage the finish of the pool and could cause a leak.

Bring in the grill or tie it down. Look around your property for anything that can become a projectile in heavy winds and lay them down and tie them down on the ground.

Make sure that all doors and windows are closed and secured.

When tying things down, use a rope and make certain that it can handle the load. Don’t use string to tie down objects. It is probably too weak to take the strain. Instead, use nylon rope. Assure that the knots are tight and the rope is tight around the objects. You don’t want the rope to have any play.

Trees In A Hurricane Or Tropical Storm

Check your trees. Those with multiple trunks are a risk for splitting during storms and causing severe property damage. These trees are referred to as Codominant Stem trees.

It may be common sense that all trees are susceptible to hurricanes or tropical storms. In a strong wind, they can break apart or can be uprooted. If you have concluded over the last year or two that hurricanes or tropical storms hitting your area are more than a possibility, then consider planting trees that are wind-resistant. Oak, Magnolia, and Bald Cypress are good examples.

Where you plant trees is important. Don’t install large trees too close to your house, other structures, or near power lines. Observe the trees as they grow and prune them if necessary.

Inspect your mature and over-mature trees on your property for structural weaknesses, health issues, and robustness. Always look out for your trees becoming diseased or weak. When that happens they are potential sources of damage during a hurricane or tropical storm.

Check out your trees for obvious defects or deformities. What to look out for are:

• Codominant stem trees

• Too thick canopies

• Root problems

There’s not much you can do to protect a tree with codominant stems. However, you can prune the canopies of the trees to help them make it through the storm.

A tree that has root rot has fewer leaves than a normal tree and an abundance of mushrooms, especially yellowish-brown with thin stems and a bad smell that grow during rainy weather are good signs that the roots of the tree are questionable. Mature trees that have been on the property long before the house was built can also have root rot.

The condition of your soil can also cause root problems with trees. If your trees are growing on thin, rocky soil, the root system may peel away from the rock and cause the tree to topple in high winds. Very wet soil can also make tree roots in the top inches of the soil vulnerable to falling in heavy winds.

So, you don’t have to be a victim of a storm. There are things you can do to protect and prepare your garden, trees, outdoor furniture and potted plants from damage in a storm.

(Sources: and

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.