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Tree expert has advice to help protect trees from storm damage

PHOENIX — Hundreds of trees have been snapped off or pulled out of the ground during the monsoon. They’ve come down on cars, homes and power lines.

There’s no guarantee when it comes to saving trees from powerful winds but there are steps homeowners can take to give trees a fighting chance.

Jeff Harper with Harper’s Nursery said pruning trees and not overwatering them is the best way to protect them during Arizona’s monsoon.

“Thin those trees out so when the wind kicks up it passes through the leaves and the tree doesn’t grab it like a big sail and topple over.”

For young trees, make sure they’re properly staked down. Be sure that there is some give to the wire so the tree can move a bit. Be sure to run the wire through an old hose or other type of material before wrapping it around the tree trunk.

Harper said bigger trees can be protected with a device called a duckbill.

“It works on the great big trees. It’s an apparatus we pound into the ground with cables attached. When you pull the cable, the duckbill goes perpendicular to the soil and they’re bound with heavy cable that can be tightened and keep the tree upright.”