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Hurricane season 2021: Preparing your yard before a storm

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Posted at 12:48 PM, May 27, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — In addition to preparing your hurricane kit, it is important to get your yard ready for hurricane season.

ABC Action News spoke with Robert Northrop who is the urban forester from the University of Florida IFAS Extension in Hillsborough County. He says now is the time to prepare your yard to help minimize the risk of damage should a storm hit Tampa Bay this hurricane season.

Northrop says the first thing every homeowner can do is take a walk around their yard and remove any dead branches and limbs. They can easily become projectiles during storms.

He also advises you to take account of everything in your yard that may be moved by high wind, for example, furniture and hanging plants. There is no need to remove them now, but make sure these items are on the list to bring in if a storm is forecasted to hit the Tampa Bay area.

If you have the means to do so, Northrop suggests hiring an arborist to look at the trees in your yard, now before a storm hits.

“They [arborists] have the training to do specific types of pruning that can reduce the wind load as it blows against your tree. These types of pruning are often called thinning or structural pruning,” said Northrop.

Northrop explains certified arborists will also check to see if root systems are solid to help stabilize the tree and if there is rot on the inside which makes it more likely to break up in the high wind.

HURRICANE RESOURCES

Click here for information from the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture about how to find and hire a professional certified arborist.

For more resources about trees and hurricanes, click here.