Mailing Address
100 Violetwood Circle
Marlborough, MA 01752


Is your landscape ready for a hurricane?

Is your landscape ready for a hurricane?

Hurricane preparedness is by far the most important part of personal safety during the hurricane season, but as a land care professional my thoughts always return to the landscape. I don’t know of any official statistics concerning costs associated with landscape damages, but based on my experience with response to natural disasters, I can assure you damages can be extensive and costly.

Here are some tips I hope you will find helpful not only for the hurricane season, but in general. Please share and discuss these tips with family, friends and/or neighbors to better prepare for, and prevent property damage.

Before the storm

  • Anchor newly planted trees (within the last year) with appropriate tree support systems
  • Preventatively pruning dead wood and weak crotches from existing trees minimizes risk of property damage
  • Harvest fruits and vegetables before a storm and keep in containers to prevent contamination from floodwaters
  • Secure/Store all outdoor garden fixtures and lawn or garden equipment as you would for winter
  • Clear gutters, downspouts, drainage pipes and basins of debris to allow for excess water flow from the heavy rain
  • Shut down irrigation systems and turn off the water supply to prevent possible added flooding due to broken heads and lines
  • Prune trees with dense canopies to prevent a “sail effect” and possible uprooting
  • Contact your land care professional for assistance in preparing your landscape for hurricane season and/or pending storm-events
  • Contact your insurance agent before the storm to determine what damage is, and is not, covered by your policy
  • Have large trees that are financially difficult to replace appraised and insured
  • Take pictures of your landscape before and after storm-events to help expedite claims
  • Keep accurate records of landscape appraisals and losses for insurance, legal, and income tax purposes.

During the storm

  • DO NOT park vehicles beneath trees
  • DO NOT go outside unless directed by officials.

After the storm

  • Be aware of coastal and hillside erosion
  • Be aware of downed power lines and foreign material in the yard
  • Leave partially downed trees and hanging limbs for trained professionals to manage
  • DO NOT use fresh or garden food that has come across floodwaters
  • Use agriculture grade gypsum to help counteract the effects of salt spray on lawns and gardens
  • Have well water re-tested for potability and usage on lawns and gardens.

Insurance coverage for downed trees can vary depending on the insurance company. A basic home policy generally provides limited tree removal coverage up to $500 if trees fall on covered property. Some insurance companies provide slightly higher amounts and may cover tree removal when a covered building is not involved when you purchase a special endorsement to your policy. Tree removal coverage is subject to your policy deductible.