Storms are a normal and expected feature of summertime in Queensland, Australia. We have in the past couple of years had quiet storm seasons, however, meteorologists are predicting that the 2020/2021 storm season may be more eventful. A La Niña has already been declared with extreme wet weather and a possible increased number of tropical cyclones on the horizon. While more rain will be fantastic for the health and wellbeing of trees, the wet weather will hopefully reduce the severity of this year’s bush fire season. It is important that everyone is prepared for any emergency that may arise and although Queenslanders have faced many emergency situations, it never hurts to refresh emergency preparations knowledge. The Queensland government have a handy website to help prepare for all scenarios- see here.
Keeping your Trees Safe
At Heritage Tree Care our highly experienced and qualified arborists specialize in looking after trees, keeping them healthy and well- maintained. Having strong and well-maintained trees on your property is the key to be prepared for storms.
Signs that trees may be in danger of causing damage or injury during storms include:
- Inflicted with pests or diseases.
- Have an excessive amount of deadwood.
- Have weak root systems.
- Are in poor quality, tightly compacted soil.
- The soil around the tree is loose or gravelly.
- Have been ‘lopped’ or badly over pruned in the past.
- Have large cracks on the trunk or on major branches.
If you notice any of the above signs on or around your trees it is time to get a professional arborist to take a look an advise on the best course of action for your trees to ensure measures can be taken to protect them before a storm or flood happens.
Floods in Brisbane and How They Affect Trees.
Over the years South East Queensland including Brisbane and surrounds have been badly affected by floods a number of times. In 2011 the impact of the floods was enormous, unfortunately lives were lost, and more than 30,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Wildlife and nature were also severely affected during and after the flood.
As with storms, the best form of defense for trees against floods is the trees and surrounding soil being in a healthy condition before any flooding event occurs. Flood damage such as soil changes, insects and disease infestation and other physical damage are likely to affect tree growth and ultimately its survival. The severity of the damage depends on the length of time the tree is underwater as the longer they are without oxygen the more damage will be done.
Symptoms that show a tree has been affected by flood may include:
- Yellowing of leaves (Leaf chlorosis) that is followed by leaf loss.
- Reduction of leaf size.
- Small shoots emerging from the main stem.
- Crown dieback.
- Large seed crops or no seed crops in years following a flood.
Sometimes the damage to trees from a flood can take years of slow decline to kill it and the cause will not always linked to a flood that may have happened years ago. However, trees can and do recover from floods, it will take time and sometimes intervention from an Arborist to get it back to full vitality and health.