How to Plant Hurricane-Resistant Trees
Time Required: Over 1 day
Cleaner air, energy savings, wildlife habitat and higher property values are just a few of the benefits trees provide.
But the wrong tree in the wrong place can be a hazard during a hurricane. With the right planning, a hurricane-resistant landscape can be yours.
By taking garden layout, spacing and tree species into consideration, you’ll be on your way to choosing a tree that can hold its ground during a storm and looks beautiful for years to come.
Hurricane-resistant trees can withstand high winds and water-saturated soil far better than others.
Choose large, wind-resistant trees such as oaks, Southern magnolias and bald cypresses or native trees with wide spreading branches, a low center of gravity, strong, deep roots, and small leaf size. Ask a Garden Center associate for assistance in choosing the right tree.
Choose hurricane-resistant trees best suited to your needs. If room permits, group five or more trees together. A single tree has less wind resistance than trees planted closely together. Plus, root systems intertwine to better anchor trees in the soil.
Be sure to plant trees 10 feet apart, but not in a straight line. Dig holes 3 to 4 times as wide but no deeper than the container. You want to make it easy for the roots of trees to grow outward. Fill the holes with water and let them drain.
Ease the trees out of their pots. Gently loosen roots, being careful not to damage them. Set the trees in their holes so the place where their trunks meet the roots is at the soil line — not too high and not too deep. Spread the roots out. Fill holes halfway with soil and lightly tamp to eliminate air pockets. Replace the remaining soil and tamp again. Build shallow saucers of soil with 3-inch lips around the perimeter of each hole to contain water. Water each tree gently and deeply.
Mulch around your planted trees, keeping the mulch away from each trunk. Do not mound mulch like a volcano. It can kill trees. Water regularly the first year, even during winter warm spells if the soil isn’t frozen. Maintain a construction-free zone out to the edge of the tree canopy. Protect roots from damage by keeping equipment and digging activities away from the root zone.