If you find yourself nervously staring out the window at that one tree in your yard every time there’s a storm, it might be time for some yard maintenance. While you can never guarantee a thunderstorm or hurricane won’t damage your yard, there are lots of things you can do to minimize the damage potential.
- Keep your storm drains and ditches clear of any debris (that includes grass clippings, leaves, and other natural debris) at all times. Small vegetation is okay. Piles of grass and pine straw is not.
- Inspect your trees to make sure they’re healthy. Check trunks for missing bark, check branches for decaying wood and the absence of leaves, and check roots for cavities or nearby cracked soil, possibly indicating a lean. High winds aren’t the only concern for trees. Flooding can also severely damage trees, loosening the soil around it and depleting it of needed oxygen.
- Regularly clean out your gutters and make sure they’re properly draining.
- Make plans for where you will store outdoor items in the event of a storm with high winds. Is there room for your patio furniture in your garage or shed? Can you tie down your flower pots? Are the children’s toys properly stabilized?
If you’re planning to do some additional planting later this year, do some research on which plants are best for areas prone to hurricanes. You can also find plants that, when planted together, form a strong root base, making them more stable.