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Wind Damage, Trees, and Your Home After a Hurricane

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2017 | Preparing For Hurricanes

After a powerful hurricane like that which affected Florida last month, policyholders are often left to deal with the damage to their homes and businesses caused by the powerful winds brought by those storms. Wind storm damage can be extensive and costly, and it is important to ensure that you properly document the damage in order to file a timely insurance claim. Given that Hurricane Irma recently caused significant damage in West Central Florida, now is a good time to learn more about wind storm damage produced by hurricanes and how to plan in advance to prevent this type of damage when a hurricane again threatens Florida in the future.

Wind Storm Damages, Hurricanes, and Trees in Your Community

As many West Central Florida residents now know all too well, when a powerful hurricane makes landfall in the state, it brings with it extremely strong winds that can take down trees throughout your community. When you are preparing for a hurricane, it is important to consider planting trees that can withstand high winds, while considering the option of cutting down trees that could end up wreaking havoc on your home.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida, significant wind storm damage that is related to hurricanes involves various kinds of trees. Many trees in West Central Florida simply are not built to stand up to such winds, and they can “become hazardous and pose risks to personal safety and property.” The scientists behind the study have been exploring the links between wind damage, hurricane, and trees for a number of years in hopes of determining an answer to this question: “what makes a tree more wind resistant?” The researchers looked at three different factors to help determine how trees can withstand severe storms and are less susceptible to wind damage. Those three factors include the following:

● Biological factors of the trees;

● Site factors, or where the trees are planted; and

● Cultural factors.

Lessons Concerning Trees and Wind Storm Damage from Hurricanes in Florida

Here are some of the facts the researchers discovered after gathering data on wind storm damage and trees in the aftermath of 10 different hurricanes in the state:

● When wind speeds are higher-in Category 3 hurricanes or above-there is a greater likelihood that trees will fall altogether, or will be damaged to the point of leaning at a 45-degree angle or more;

● Trees planted in groups tend to survive high winds better than stand-alone trees;

● Certain tree species that thrive in Florida survive hurricanes and high winds better than other species;

● Palm species are better at surviving high winds than are broad-leaved trees and conifer trees;

● Pine trees often do not show obvious damage after high winds, but they can lose strength over time and can pose a risk of damage to surrounding structures; and

● Well-pruned trees are more likely to survive high winds than trees that are not pruned at all or those that are pruned poorly.

What do these facts tell us? How to better prepare for to make your home and family safe for the next hurricane by potentially preventing home damage from a fallen tree. Specifically, homeowners should consider planting palm trees in their yard, and planting them in groups so that they are more likely to survive the high winds associated with a hurricane. And if you already have trees planted in your yard, be sure they are properly pruned to prevent wind storm damage.

Contact a West Central Florida Wind Storm Damage Lawyer

If your home suffered wind storm damage caused by a fallen tree, you should learn more about filing a claim. In the event your insurance claim is denied, delayed or results in a low offer by your insurer, a West Central Florida wind storm damage lawyer can help. Contact the Valrico Law Group for more information.