Monsoon season is here!
During June 15th through September 30th, Arizonians are greeted with booming thunderstorms, torrential rains and strong winds. These conditions often strike suddenly and with violent force. While it can be exciting to watch, monsoon season can result in dangerous situations and damage – especially to your landscape.
In fact, according to www.monsoonsafety.org, monsoon season results in thousands of dollars of damage each year. Many times, the difference between minimizing damage and suffering a total loss to your landscape (i.e., trees, flower beds, and hedges) comes down to how well it’s maintained.
Here are four tips to help protect your landscape during monsoon season.
Pruning: Regular tree maintenance is your best bet for avoiding problems. Pruning to thin the top of the tree (the canopy) reduces wind resistance, and in turn, the force that can damage branches or even the trunk of the tree in strong winds. Additionally, pruning large trees prevents overhanging branches from damaging your home and surrounding landscapes. Hire a certified arborist to prune your trees annually.
Staking: Young trees and plants are vulnerable to damaging winds and water logged soil. Staking these trees provides them with the support they need until their trunk is strong enough to hold the canopy on its own (usually one growing season). Use stakes that are at least 6 feet tall and 3 inches in diameter for proper support. Place the stakes about 2 feet from the stem and about 2 feet into the ground, opposite one another. Use a bend-not-break approach, allowing some flexibility in the line.
Health Check: If you are in doubt about the health of your trees, call a certified arborist to come and inspect them. An arborist can help determine if any trees have insect damage or are suffering from dieback (a condition where the branch begins to die from the tip back to the base). Removing dead, damaged or diseased branches before the next storm hits is your best bet for preventing further damage.
Plant Native Trees: When you add to your landscape, plant native trees as often as possible. These species are better suited to the weather conditions in your area, so they can stay stronger and healthier without as much work. A list of native trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, cacti, succulents, grasses, perennials, and annuals for Arizona can be found by clicking here.