Trees That Can Withstand Hurricanes
[Sand live oak]
Sand live oak (Quercus geminata) is very resistant to wind damage. ©Edward Gilman, UF/IFAS.
When choosing a new tree for your Florida landscape, or deciding whether to remove a tree, take hurricanes into consideration.
One of the best things you can do in your landscape is to plant trees that can withstand hurricane-force winds.
Research conducted by University of Florida scientists showed that sand live oaks are the most resistant to wind damage. Other good choices include the Southern magnolia, live oak, crapemyrtle, bald cypress, and sabal palm. These trees are less likely to lose limbs or blow over during hurricanes.
Some of the trees with the least wind resistance were sand pine, Chinese elm, water oak, and laurel oak.
Remember that proper planting and care are just as important as tree selection. By making smart choices when you choose and plant new trees, you'll avoid costly damage later.
Florida Forest Trees: Sand Live Oak
Florida Plant ID: Sabal Palmetto
Landscape Plants: Hurricane-resistant Trees
Landscape Plants: Quercus geminata, Sand Live Oak
Trees and Hurricanes
How to Minimize Wind Damage in the South Florida Landscape
Native Wind Resistant Trees for Mitigation in Escambia County, Florida (PDF)
Quercus geminata, Sand Live Oak
Selecting Southeastern Coastal Plain Tree Species for Wind Resistance (PDF)
Selecting Tropical and Subtropical Trees Species for Wind Resistance (PDF)
Also on Gardening Solutions
More About Hurricanes on Gardening Solutions
Cleaning Up After A Hurricane
Preparing Trees for Hurricanes
Restoring Trees After a Storm
Forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are predicting a near-normal to above-normal hurricane season this year.
[A graphical image of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook showing a prediction of 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, 1-4 major hurricanes]
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with August and September being the most active months.
The 2017 season produced 17 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes including six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) – two of those became the first major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years.
Your family's safety is most important during a hurricane. One of the things you can do to help keep your family and home safe is to prepare your landscape properly. Here are some tips to help make sure your landscape is on its way to being hurricane-proof:
"Selecting Tropical and Subtropical Tree Species for Wind Resistance" (PDF) -- from the UF/IFAS Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program
After a hurricane, remember that your landscape needs to be maintained properly.
Damaged trees need to be removed or restored by a professional.
Hurricane and Tropical Weather Prepardness Tips
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. It is important to prepare ahead of any tropical weather.
What to Do
Before the storm
With every storm, severe damage may be seen in the community and some trees may survive with only minor change. There are ways to reduce damage during any storm by following Proper Pruning Before Hurricane Season.
Homeowners and property owners can take preventive measures prior to a storm in order to assist their trees in growing stronger and becoming more resistant to damage.
[Landscape Hurricane Preparedness]
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, there are 5 suggestions for pruning a tree that will promote growth of strong branches:
During the storm
Get more info
Build a plan in less than 2 minutes at http://flgetaplan.com/.
Be informed on UF Hurricane Preparedness at https://emergency.ufl.edu/preparedness/be-informed/hurricane-preparedness/