Storm Season Is Here! Here’s How You Can Prepare Your Trees

March winds, April showers, bring forth … thunderstorms, wind, and heavy rain in the Southeast throughout the summer that can be potentially damaging to your trees!

Luckily there are several things you can do in advance of storm season to help shore up your saplings and tend to all the trunks in your yard.

Be Vigilant About the Basics
General care throughout the year will help keep your trees strong and healthy — the best way to help them survive severe weather.

Trees usually get the water they need from natural rainfall. But as the University of Georgia Extension reminds us, “Periodic droughts can be devastating. Going weeks without moisture can create problems for trees, especially those with small soil moisture reservoirs (i.e., limited root zones).” If your lawn looks puny during a time of dryness, most likely your trees will need a healthy drink, too. We have more specific watering advice for you here.

Mulching is another way to help the soil around your trees retain not only moisture, but also important nutrients. Whether composed of wood chips, shredded leaves, and/or pine straw, make sure your mulch is spread to the edges of a tree’s drip canopy, but never — as Georgia Gardening expert Walter Reeves cautions — piled up high around a tree’s trunk.

Another benefit of mulch is that it can help prevent the growth of weeds and other small ground plants or saplings that might compete with your tree for moisture and other nutrients. If you decide not to mulch around your trees, make sure to keep the area around the base clear by pulling up weeds regularly.

The Importance of Trimming & Pruning
Proper trimming and pruning removes unwanted dead, decaying, or dying branches. A regular trim can also reduce any potential hazards such as low-hanging branches, or damaged limbs that could fall during a storm. For smaller and easy to reach branches, you may be able to do the work yourself, but we recommend hiring an expert for anything beyond that.

Similar to trimming, pruning gets rid of parts of the tree that may be dead or damaged,
but proper pruning can also keep a tree healthy by:
● Controlling or directing new growth
● Preventing the spread of disease
● Correcting weak or narrow crotches in the tree
● Improving air circulation and allowing light to shine through

If you’re unsure about your trees’ overall health, or what trimming might be necessary, we recommend you have them inspected by an arborist or other tree professional.

To Brace and Cable (or Not): A Careful Question
A specialized process used only to protect mature trees, cabling and bracing should always be prescribed and installed by an expert, as improper installation can lead to tree destruction. The process involves installing cables, metal rods, or both, in order to hold branches together or upright, to keep the crown together, or to prevent tree splitting. The University of Georgia Extension recommends that cabling or bracing should be seen and utilized only as a final attempt to save a tree.

If Damage Does Occur
Even after the best precautions, storm damage can and may still happen. The Georgia Arborist Association provides some advice on how to handle damaged trees, and we at Premier Tree Solutions are also at the ready to keep your trees — and your home and family — safe.

If you have any questions about the potential risk for any storm damage to your trees, we have three Certified Arborists on staff, and would be happy for you to reach out to us online or give us a call at 404.252.6448.

Trees That Actually Make Great House Plants

While few of us are able to live in a treehouse, so long as you have the height and space, your home can be a great place for a variety of trees. According to a 2020 Healthline article, there’s even science-backed evidence that growing trees indoors could be good for your health!

So we wanted to pull together some recommendations that go above and beyond the standard ferns, palms, and bamboo you might see — offering you a veritable forest of interesting choices.

Rubber Tree
Perhaps one of the more commonly recommended trees on our list, exotic rubber trees are actually native to the rain forests of the Amazon region of South America. They can grow to over 100 feet tall in the wild, but you can raise them to the height that suits you and your environment best. A careful balance of light and water may be necessary, but experts at The Spruce assert, “When it comes to caring for a rubber plant, your job is pretty straight-forward.”

Triangle Ficus
Ficus Triangularis Variegata is both beautiful and, according to Gardening It, relatively easy to tend! The thick, triangular leaves set this ficus apart. Under the right conditions it may grow to provide up to six feet of lush loveliness. Likes include humidity and plenty of light. Dislikes: too much bright, direct light, and extreme temperature changes.

Panama Orange
As evidenced in the 1987 Citrus Propagation Manual, propagating citrus can require careful specifics when it comes to soil chemistry and weather climate. This means growing citrus directly from seed could potentially try your patience. But fear not — Calamondin Orange plants bought and cultivated from reputable growers produced from cuttings can result in 2-4’ tall trees that add some nice color (and fragrance) to your home. You’ll need to regulate moisture and temperature year-round, provide some pruning in the spring, and even execute hand-pollinating if you want to see flowers and fruit, but by following some of the careful care guidelines recommended by sources like Guide to Houseplants, your labors will produce fruits with a sweet-tart flavor combination between a kumquat and a tangerine. Panama Orange will add zest to your life that we think is worthwhile!

Weeping Fig
Not only is the weeping fig good-looking, a NASA Clean Air Study also revealed it may help purify the air in your home! Pet owners take careful note, however, that its leaves may be toxic to dogs and cats. If you decide to take on this distinctive tree, House Plants Expert advises choosing one spot that receives both sun and shade, and sticking to it. Otherwise, it may be “weeping” leaves left and right.

Guiana Chestnut
For our final recommendation, we’re gonna “show you the money” with the Pachira Aquatica, also known as Guiana Chestnut, or “Money tree.” This “virtually-unkillable” tree needs sufficient light, plus warmth and humidity, but Balcony Garden Web points out that it tends to stop growing in the winter due to colder temperatures. We definitely think it will make a good investment!

Questions about your trees, either inside or out? Reach out to us online or give us a call at 404.252.6448.