Now is the Time to Prepare Your Trees for Hurricane Season
- County Agencies Provide Pruning and Trimming Disposal Tips -

DATE: June 8, 2012
CONTACT: Peter Burke (tree preservation)
Development and Environmental Regulation Division

PHONE: 954-519-1483
CONTACT: Odette Reza-Brown (disposal)
Solid Waste and Recycling Services

PHONE: 954-474-1837

With hurricane season upon us, Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department and Solid Waste and Recycling Services remind everyone that now is a good time to inspect and evaluate your trees for risk of failure during a storm.

Factors which affect the likelihood of tree failure or damage during a hurricane or severe storm include tree planting depth, soil moisture levels, tree species, proper tree maintenance, tree locations and groupings, overall tree health and tree structure.

Pruning of Trees and Palms Prior to Storms and Hurricanes:

• When pruning trees in advance of Hurricane Season, prune for strength and form.

• Never top or "hat-rack" trees or excessively lift or "lions tail" trees. Topping a tree is the removal of the upper canopy of the tree, leaving only branch stubs. Excessive lifting creates a condition where trees become top-heavy, in effect raising a tree's center of gravity from the root zone to the upper canopy. Both of these methods of pruning increase the chances of wind damage and tree failure, short-term and long-term, and are a violation of County and municipal tree protection codes.

• Avoid pruning palm trees whenever possible. Most palms will shed their fronds naturally and require no pruning.

• Never "hurricane cut' palms. This pruning method is the excessive removal of palm fronds leaving only a few fronds at the top of the palm tree. This deprives the palm of necessary nutrients. Additionally, repeated hurricane cuts produce a condition known as "penciling," which is the narrowing of the palm trunk just below the fronds. Strong winds may snap off the top of the palm where the thinning has occurred. This pruning method is also a violation of County and municipal codes.

• Any tree or palm pruning that requires the use of a ladder or power equipment is best accomplished by hiring a Broward County licensed Certified Arborist or Tree Trimmer. For information on tree trimmers, visit and click TREE TRIMMERS. For more information on tree care and planting the right tree in the right place, call 954-519-1483 or visit and click TREE PRESERVATION PROGRAM

Disposal of Trimmings:

To discard your tree trimmings, branches and palm fronds, follow your city's bulky waste disposal rules, such as:

•Place bulky waste items curbside in a neat and orderly manner before 7 a.m. on your scheduled bulk waste collection day.

•Cut and securely bundle tree trimmings, branches, palm fronds, etc.

•Unincorporated area residents should  follow the 4/50 Rule: bundles, trunks, logs and large limbs must not exceed 4 feet in length and 50 pounds in weight.

Residents who do not want to wait until their scheduled collection day can take their debris to one of the Residential Drop-Off Centers in Broward County. This free service is available to all Broward County residents (except those who reside in Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach and Hallandale Beach). A current driver's license/photo identification with a utility bill (water, electricity, cable, telephone) and/or tax notice are required as proof of residency (name and address must match). Any users without the required proof of residency will be denied access. Stations are conveniently located as follows:

• 2780 N. Powerline Road, Pompano Beach, north of Copans Road. Open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• 5601 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., West Park, located between Miramar and Pembroke Park. Open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For bulk waste disposal information, contact your city.

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