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How Landscaping Can Prevent Hurricane Damage

Trees damaged by a hurricane
While live oaks are considered more wind resistant, health factors can increase the likelihood that a tree will fall. Experts recommend being proactive and having a certified arborist assess trees prior to hurricane season. Credit: Camila Guillen, UF/IFAS

With the Atlantic Hurricane season over, experts are already reminding us to protect our properties for next year. Some of the advice involves landscaping your yard.

The University of Florida IFAS program has prepared a list of trees that can help protect your property from severe storms.

Mark Tancig, the horticulture extension agent in Leon County, said in North Florida, where Hurricane Michael did most of its destruction last year, people are reluctant to replant. He said that's the wrong idea.

"Hearing people talk in the community about not planting trees back around the house because they've had just trees fall on their home. The advice is that we need trees,” said Tancig. “We need to replant these areas. This is just guidance to help them choose those species that are known to be more resistant."

Ideal trees to plant include live oak, hickory, and dogwood, among others.

Tancig also suggests ways to minimize the risk of having trees on your property fall during storms.

"Things like planting in groups, things like reducing root damage, being kind of proactive," he said. "So just like you would prepare for hurricane season by getting batteries and water, also maybe having a certified arborist do a inspection."

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