Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The University of Florida’s Extension Service factsheet on trees that do and don’t hold up without serious damage in hurricanes has a suggestion that would make our urban forests
more wind-resistant. Trees planted in groups, not rows, have a higher survival rate in times of intense winds. Their combined canopies help break the strength of the wind on individual limbs to minimize breakage and their entwined root system acts as a grid lessening the chance of their being toppled. By increasing the number of trees planted, this practice would also add to the health of our cities as trees shade hardscapes, helping to prevent urban heat buildup, and they intercept rain, breaking the force of those droplets so they can soak into the ground. Additionally, cities which budget funds for preventative and maintenance pruning, removing limbs with weak angles and other flaw, have fewer trees damaged in storms.