Saturday, August 25, 2012
Native Plants Can Weather The Storm
As Isaac approaches, it's time to cover a very important subject: native vs non native to handle severe storms. In a study conducted after Charley by UF, NATIVE plants showed their stuff and proved they were best able to handle high winds from hurricanes here in south Florida. After all, they have evolved here over thousands of years, bearing the brunt of storm after storm.
DO NOT EVER prune green fronds off palm trees!!!! DO NOT let anyone offer you a "Hurricane Cut" on your palms, it does NOT help, it only weakens the tree. You may trim off brown fronds, just not the green. Remember, palm trees are designed by nature to let the winds easily pass through their leaves. In the event of a direct hit, some plants are going done native or not. But Florida native plants, allowed to grow naturally, and NOT overpruned, will usually make it to see the next storm.
AND, a hedge of native shrubs, such as "the back ten feet" WILL protect your home from high winds. I know, I went through Charley. The houses on all sides of me suffered more damage than mine. I had living fences around three sides of my yard, and could actually see the buffering they provided.
So, as John Sibley would say, "Get Real, Go Native"! Protect your home and property, offer habitat for wildlife, clean the water, cool the air and create greenways throughout your neighborhood, starting at The Back Ten Feet.