Protecting your property from falling trees this hurricane season

WSAV Hurricane Central

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With new tropical systems on the horizon, the Savannah Tree Foundation is working to help you protect your property through this year’s hurricane season.

The organization released an updated Hurricane Prep Guide to help community members protect their homes, cars, and families from falling trees.

Savannah Tree Foundation Executive Director Zoe Rinker says everyone with a tree on their property should take steps to inspect them before the next storm or contact the city if they concerned about a nearby tree.

“Look for signs of weakness, look for signs of decay and dead branches. If the leaves on the edge of a branch are dead, that’s a very good sign that there’s an issue on the interior of the tree,” Rinker said.

“Storms are unpredictable,” she added. “Trees can come down so, at that point, we want to make sure that you protect yourself if they do come down.”

The Savannah Tree Foundation recommends taking its four steps to hurricane tree maintenance:

  • Identify: Look for signs of weakness and decay.
  • Inspect: Get the tree inspected by a certified arborist or the city if it’s not located on private property.
  • Prune: Remove dead branches and excess weight that may damage property if affected by a storm and mitigate any wind risk.
  • Protect: If a tree does come down from severe weather, so it’s important to protect yourself and neighbors. Don’t touch a tree that has come down on a power line or gas line. Call a tree care company to remove the tree from the property.

“When a tree has come down, you don’t know how they’re going to react,” Rinker said. “The safest way to move forward at that point is to get help from professionals.”

Rinker says if you have any concerns about a tree on your property surviving a storm, contact a certified arborist to get it checked out.

“The best time to get your trees looked at was yesterday,” Rinker said, “and the next best time is today.”

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