Hurricane season officially begins June 1. Though, there are still two weeks to go, meteorologists have been keeping an eye on the Gulf. And, recent rains have reminded many of last year's destruction, which left some Florida homeowners fearful of their own yards — after trees caused so much property damage during Hurricane Irma.
Arborist Ian Orlikoff is trying to alleviate some of those fears. He says that it's all about knowing what trees are healthy and which ones aren’t.
"When those root zones are exposed to air, they’ll typically start to decay and their stability will weaken somewhat," Orlikoff said. "Trees do have the ability to respond and re-strengthen over time and grow some more roots to compensate for that; however, there is that short-term issue that you have to pay attention to. If you notice a tree continuing to lean, that’s definitely something you need to have assessed."
But, before people take an axe to all their trees, Orlikoff wants to remind people that trees offer more help than harm, especially during storm season.
"The amount of protection trees provide us as a wind buffer greatly outweighs the damage that they could cause to a structure," Orlikoff said, "so removing all these trees in communities for the fear of hurricane damage is kind of opening their structures up to straight-line winds."
And, those winds could cause permanent damage to structures.
"You know," Orlikoff said. "I’d rather have a hole poked in my roof rather than the roof ripped off."