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As storm season rolls in, experts suggest regular tree-trimming

Posted at 6:01 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 19:47:26-04

TULSA, Okla. — Storm season is upon us. Experts say it's time to make sure your trees can handle the wind and rain.

It's advice that Mary Boukadakis follows year-round. She's weathered many storm seasons in Oklahoma and said she's seen it all.

"Some of my neighbor's trees have fallen on my fence in my backyard. And it was really scary and lost power for a little bit," Boukadakis said. "But now you can see that I have trimmed the tree quite a bit and thinned it out. So it should be able to withstand any storm."

Withstanding the storm is the goal, according to certified master arborist Cody Willard.

He said regular trims are key to keeping your trees healthy and resilient.

"Usually most tree pruning occurs every two to five years. Deadwood or anything hazardous is going to be your main concern," Willard said. "But every tree species has different needs, so it's kind of where it boils back down to, you know, the arborist having specific recommendations per tree."

Experts say these recommendations could be the difference between weathering the storm or facing the aftermath. Willard warns even branches that appear sturdy can snap in high winds.

"Really, anytime we have storms over that 54-mile-an-hour rate, anything can happen with any trees. So just prepare ahead of time and make sure you don't get stuck in your driveway, and kids are inside, and breakables are put away," Willard said.

For the next storm, Boukadakis is prepared.

"Because of that losing power, I happen to be a type 1 diabetic. So stress is not my friend. So I said, I'm going to fix that, and I installed a generator. So now when power goes out, I have power when no one else does," Boukadakis said.

She also makes sure she'll have food.

"I, a couple of years ago, got a greenhouse and now I'm growing tomatoes, okra, spinach, broccoli, many sweet peppers. And I know that the plants are protected and all my efforts are going to be useful and won't be lost because of a storm," Boukadakis said.

Arborists say some trees are more prone to lightning strikes than others and to ask a professional if a protection system is worth the investment.

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