Anyone that has ever visited or lived there, will tell you that Phoenix is a beautiful and vibrant city of the Southwest. Even though this low desert city has been built in the middle of one of the most arid territories of the United States, this metropolis has just as much greenery as the next municipality. Countless people from all around the globe have named this a world destination and it is no wonder why. It is astounding to see that this once barren land has been transformed into a beautiful oasis of exotic trees and shrubs combined with unusual native plant life.
This unmatched charm comes with a cost just as all things do. There are hundreds of millions of trees in the Phoenix metro area and they all have to be cared for. Overgrown trees are not only unsightly but they are also very dangerous especially during the monsoon season, which starts in late June and ends in early September. During the summer storms in Phoenix we get downpours of rain and enormous gusts of wind which can cause harm to any trees that have damaged limbs or an excess of smaller branches that add unnecessary weight and increase the chances of catching wind like a sail does on a boat.
Here are 5 things you can do with your trees to ensure that you minimize the likelihood of having your property damaged during a major storm this summer.
1. Check ALL of the major limbs on your tree for missing bark and cracked areas in the wood. Any area that is missing bark may have a disease or has been flexing so much during windy times that the bark was chipped away or the limb may have cracked and broken. You may actually have to climb up into the tree to check higher branches if you have a large tree.
2. Remove all major limbs of substantial size if it is hanging over any structures. After inspecting your tree for broken or weak limbs, it is important to assess the healthy looking limbs too. Some larger limbs could weigh close to 1000 pounds and will do some serious damage to a house or anything inside it's fall zone. Even if the branch looks perfectly healthy, it may break and land on something that will cost a great deal to repair. Nobody wants to make an insurance claim, so make sure to remove limbs that look like they will cause some destruction.
3. Trim away all smaller branches that are not receiving much light and seem to grow downwards. These branches will most likely end up dying from lack of sunlight and will add hundreds of extra pounds that could cause major limbs to become damaged during a storm. Not to mention all the extra leaves that are growing on these branches will catch more air during the windy season which will exponentially increase the chance of injury to your tree. This is one of the things people usually neglect and end up paying for later when a tree limb lands on their car!
4. Look for signs of disease and decay. Usually when a tree is 'sick' it will show up in the leaves. If your tree's leaves are looking different than they usually do, try giving your tree more water for a couple of weeks. If nothing changes in the leaves or it gets worse, call a tree care professional immediately. Also, you will want to inspect all areas where limbs and branches have been removed in the past and look for signs of decay.
5. Keep your tree height to a minimum. Lots of people in the Phoenix metro area plant their trees in a strategic manner in order to help shade their home, thus reducing energy costs during the extreme heat of the summer months. The idea is to have the tree become taller than the house so it may provide shading from the sun. Just remember when doing this, that the branches hanging over the house have to be watched closely and cared for each year so you can avoid doing any harm to your home.
We trust that this will save many of you home and property owners lots of headaches this monsoon season. Thank you for reading!