Creating a Hurricane Tolerant Landscape

It’s no secret, nobody wants their homes to be damaged during a storm.

Most people however overlook the many dangers that their landscape can pose to their home.

And more importantly they often neglect to properly plan their landscapes for the arrival of a pending hurricane.

So lets take a look at some of the long, and short term methods that you can create a landscape that can resist damage during a hurricane.

Long Term Methods To Create a Hurricane Tolerant Landscape

The long term methods of creating a hurricane tolerant landscape starts with proper planning and following up with proper maintenance. Not only will this improve the value of your home, it will protect your investment.

Plan-ting for a Hurricane

Creating a hurricane resistant landscape starts with proper planning.

Factors to keep in mind when planning your landscape:

  • Plant Salt-tolerance
  • Tree wind resistance
  • Distance from home
  • Grade your Landscape
  • Maintenance

Plant Salt-Tolerance

Hurricanes can bring sea water via storm surge up to 30 miles inland!

Furthermore, the high winds cause the salty water to be slung around in the form of water droplets.

If you do not have salt tolerant plants, this salt spray may destroy your precious landscape.

There are many organizations with dedicated lists of salt-tolerant plants that will work for your region. Trust me, you will have plenty of options to create an awesome landscape.

Tree Wind Resistance

Tree wind resistance involves several factors including: root depth, susceptibility to wind damage, and maintenance.

Here is an excellent source of hurricane resistant trees.

Wind resistant trees include:

  • Bald Cypress
  • Southern Magnolia
  • Live Oaks
  • and Crapemyrtle

Distance from Home

Keeping taller trees a safe distance from your home is critical for preventing hurricane damage.

When planning for a hurricane resistant landscape constantly ask…

How big is this tree going to get?

Its easy to plant things too close to your home when they are little only to wake up one day with a large tree that is far too close to your home. That 8 foot tall tree will quickly grow in size to a full blown tree.

In general, most trees should be at least 15 feet from the home.

Grade Your Landscape

When you are first planning out your landscape for hurricane resistance, plan on grading your lawn.

Creating a proper grade will help the water flow away from your house and prevent pooling water in your lawn. Additionally, the water will drain away faster, even if flooding occurs.

Granted, if there is 10 feet of storm surge may not make a huge difference, but it is less likely that if your lawn is properly graded that you will experience flooding in your home.


Pruning and trimming your trees regularly is essential to cultivating a hurricane tolerant landscape.

Pruning trees has many benefits that improve hurricane resistance including:

  • Better wind-resistance,
  • Removes dangerous branches,
  • Balances weight of trees,
  • Creates more vigorous and healthy growth.

Properly pruning your shrubs, and especially your trees, is essential to creating strong, healthy trees that are well prepared for hurricanes.

Short-Term Methods To Create a Hurricane Tolerant Landscape

Uh-oh! Is the hurricane only a few days out? Well its time to implement some short term actions and prepare that lawn fast!

Actions to take to prepare your landscape for an incoming hurricane:

  • Remove all loose objects from lawn,
  • Unblock water drains,
  • Check your trees,
  • Use soft mulch.

Remove All Loose Objects from Lawn

Anything that is floating around your lawn is a projectile that can take out a window, or even worse hit somebody.

Take the time to store away all loose items including:

  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Lawn gnomes and flamingos
  • Potted plants

Unblock Water Drains

In combination with a properly graded lawn, being sure that your storm drains are clear will help you be sure that flooding is not worse than it has to be.

Take the time to walk down the street if you have to, and make sure that the drains surrounding your lawn are free and clear.

If you can do so safely, be sure that are clear during the storm too.

Check Your Trees

Ideally, you have been pruning and trimming your trees the whole time. However, if you have not been, take the time to check for dead branches or injured trees.

If you need to have a tree service come out and handle your emergency tree pruning or removal.

Use Soft Mulch

If you mulch your landscape, and you should. Be sure to use a soft mulch like pine straw or wood.

Here’s the deal, mulches like pea gravel, or volcano rock may look amazing. But they can become dangerous in the hands of a hurricane.

At The End of The Day

Creating a hurricane resistant lawn and landscape is possible with proper planning, maintenance and preparation.

Ideally, you can start your hurricane resistant lawn from scratch, but even if you have not using the rest of these methods can help you create a home that is resistant to hurricanes.

In the mean time, be sure to mow your lawn regularly!

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