Flood Preparedness: Watch for Sick Trees

Flood Preparedness

Flood Preparedness
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After a flood or heavy rain, be sure to inspect the roots of trees on your property. They may be exposed and become a danger.

Davey Tree submitted these tips for flood preparedness and tree management. The two might seem unrelated, but they actually have quite a bit in common. Sick trees are more likely to become dislodged during a flood. They can cause damage to your property or to a neighboring area.

Even healthy trees can be a concern in flood-prone areas. This is especially true after a flood. From Davey Tree:

  • Flooding can drown a tree’s roots and the root cells die due to the lack of oxygen
  • Organic matter decomposition releases carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulfide and other harmful gases
  • Foliage submerged for prolonged periods will have a difficult time recovering
  • Floating debris can cause damage to the tree and bark
  • Excessive water removes soil from root zones and leads to an instable trunk

The best way to address these issues is to either remove the tree yourself or get in touch with an arborist. In either case, the decision should be a thoughtful one. Trees take too long to grow and add too much value to property to jump into a decision.

Flood Preparedness: 5 Things to Watch for with Trees

Davey Tree suggested watching for these five factors when it comes to trees:

  • Structural damage
  • Premature fall color
  • Wilted leaves, discolored foliage and die-back are all caused by flooding
  • The emergence of pest infestations
  • Exposed roots or unstable trunk

Flood Preparedness: Tree Management Options

Total removal of a tree isn’t always necessary. Here are some other options to consider, as offered by Davey Tree.

  • Corrective pruning of dead/broken branches
  • Re-setting or staking trees that are unstable or leaning
  • Flush sediments and leach the soil
  • Pest management as needed
  • Add mulching to protect new sensitive roots and improve aeration
  • Management of mineral nutrition with micro-nutrients and slow-release nitrogen sources
  • Where salt water has intruded, the soil may need to be leached to remove the sodium
  • Sediment deposits should be removed to return soil level to original grade
  • Trees that are kept in a healthy condition will be better able to withstand massive flooding

In any case, the goal is always to have trees that can stay strong before and after a flood. Don’t skip this straightforward and important bit of flood preparedness.

Read Up on Flood Preparedness and More

Flood PreparednessFor more flood preparedness tips, be sure to check out the Prepper’s Guide to Natural Disasters. It covers the gamut of Mother Nature’s worst weather with an eye toward preparedness in other areas of life.

Click here to order the Prepper’s Guide to Natural Disasters book from Living Ready Store.