Q: My wife says I should wait a few days before trimming hurricane-damaged tree branches. I say the sooner the better, especially for safety reasons. Who’s right?
A: You both are. You definitely don’t want to make any hasty pruning decisions immediately following a storm. Secure or remove hazards, but delay pruning or removing trees and shrubs until you’ve had time to fully assess your damage. You may decide later that it wasn’t as severe as you thought. Split trunks, broken branches or loosely attached branches are obvious safety concerns and should be removed. Tattered fronds should not be removed from surviving palms. Storm-hardy palms have the ability to “mine” nutrients from damaged fronds, so allow the injured fronds to stay on until they turn brown.
Following these simple steps will help your landscape bare the brunt of this season’s storms. And it just may keep you in a happy relationship, too.
Resource: University of Florida IFAS Extension Services.