Maui Business

Don’t Let A Hurricane Crash Your Quarantine: Tips to Check on Dying or Damaged Trees

May 23, 2020, 4:43 PM HST
* Updated May 27, 3:19 PM
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PC: Climbing Hi

Hurricane season in Hawaiʻi runs from June through November. With just one week before the start, it’s time to get properties prepared, including checking on trees and shrubs for any special care.

Even if a storm doesn’t make landfall in the islands, it can pass close enough to cause significant damage.

“We’ve learned that palm trees usually withstand these storms quite well, especially native palms like Pritchardias and others such as Coconuts, Royals, and Mexican Fan Palms,” according to Climbing Hi., “Nevertheless, you can help them navigate strong winds just by reducing their weight and having them trimmed.”

“Although they may survive and even tolerate high wind and flooding with little damage, one thing to watch out for in palm trees is heart rot disease. This condition will make them weak and very susceptible to falling during a big storm,” company representatives said.

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Signs to look for in palm trees include:

  • Discoloration and possibly a wilting of the spear leaf;
  • the next youngest leaves discolored and wilted; and
  • premature loss of fruit.
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*If you are unsure, it’s safest to consult an expert.

When it comes to trees, powerful winds can transform an unstable tree or even an overhanging limb into a tool of destruction. “We’ve learned from past storms that major damage was done mainly by non-native trees like Albizias and other broadleaved trees like lychee, eucalyptus, macadamia, and mahogany,” according to Climbing Hi.

“This reminds us of the importance of planting native species whenever it’s possible. Remember, trees are great allies in fighting climate change as they provide oxygen, sequester carbon, and prevent erosion. They are great assets to our parks and homes, so we shouldn’t unnecessarily remove them,” according to company representatives.

However, trees need the appropriate maintenance to weather storms.You can check on your trees for the following signs your tree might be dying:

  • The tree has brown and brittle bark or cracks.
  • Abundance of dead wood,
  • It’s a host to critters and fungus,
  • Signs of root damage
  • Develops a sudden or gradual lean

Signs your tree is in need of some tree services:

  • Weak or diseased branches and/or unions must be trimmed to prevent the spread of the disease,
  • Tree cankers that appear as sunken spots in the bark of a large limb,
  • Dead branches, these are very brittle and unstable,
  • Poorly formed or weird shaped tree,
  • If you are seeing what appears to be tree illness,
  • If the tree is too large for the yard, or if it is interfering with power lines, then it should be trimmed.
  • Heavy growth of branches, these can prevent the sunlight from permeating the inner branches and can also cause the tree to resist wind rather than allowing wind to pass through the tree.
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Even if you can do an eye inspection of your trees, the best way to assess them is to have a professional certified arborist do a tree risk inspection and see if they are in need of any of the following tree services:

  • tree trimming of dead, rotten or damaged branches that might fall in a storm,
  • crown reduction to reduce their top weight and resistance to wind,
  • crown lifting by trimming of low-lying branches that might pose a danger
  • mulching to provide trees with nutrients, and
  • pest control to keep trees healthy and strong.

Preserving trees is important because of their contribution to the environment, fighting climate change, conserving water and energy, and increasing your property value. But also because of their beauty, trees add so much to the enjoyment of properties and parks.

“Don’t risk damaging your trees and possibly your property by ignoring them. Get prepared for the next hurricane and quarantine safely at home,” according to Climbing Hi.

Contributed by Climbing Hi LLC: a tree care company located in Maui, HI. The company’s professional arborists specialize in all things trees from full tree removals to diagnosing pests. ClimbingHI also gives back by donating part of their proceeds to native reforestation locally and worldwide. More info at: (808) 269-5462 www.climbinghimaui.com

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