South Florida Shares Its Love For Trees Lost to Hurricane Irma

Nov 2, 2017

South Florida lost a lot of trees during Hurricane Irma. While Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties avoided a direct hit, the storm managed to topple  palm and other canopy trees, littering the streets with tree trunks, branches and palm fronds.

One month later, the debris from the trees and shrubbery remains on the curb or street waiting to be picked up. 

Thousands of trees were very unlucky as Irma made her way through South Florida. Among those affected were ficus, kapok  and banyan trees. The Kampong in Coral Gables suffered two losses. Its baobab tree was knocked down for the fourth time in its life, and the sorrowless tree, which was the biggest of its species in the United States.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez talked with people in the community about the trees they lost and will eventually replace. 

If you are mourning the loss of your trees after Irma, you're not alone. Many listeners called in to share their beloved tree stories. 

We talked with Craig Morell from the KampongMark Williams, the Urban Forester-Fort Lauderdale and Ed Barrow, Parks Resource Superintendent in Palm Beach County. Here are a few tips on how to keep your trees stronger and what we can learn after the storm.

  • Have a routine trimming practice in place.
  • Make sure that you don't plant too into the hole or too high.
  • If your tree is anchored really well, it can survive a lot of things.
  • Pile and soil is not good for trees and will actually kill the roots of the tree. 
  • When pruning trees, don't cut their tops off but through the center to make them more wind-resistant.
  • How often do you need to prune your tree? Each tree is different! But have it checked annually by a certified arborist.