Dealing With The Aftermath � Cleaning Up Your Landscaping After A Hurricane

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After a hurricane you'll have to do more than just clean up your home furnishings and the items in your house. You'll also have to take care of your yard and deal with your landscaping.

The most important thing to remember is to take the cleanup process slowly. You don't want anyone involved in the cleanup efforts, including yourself, to get hurt. You also want to make sure that everything is cleaned up properly. Once you get rid of the main hazards, you can make an action plan to clean up the rest of the yard.

Planning how you're going to tackle the problem and taking it slowly is especially important when removing trees. Try not to get too emotionally involved, although this will be difficult as you sort through the rubbish you once so tenderly cared for. Remember that most trees are actually quite good at recovering after a storm and may come back to their former glory without any intervention on your part.

Some of the damage that results from hurricanes and other extreme weather events includes leftover debris, trees that are damaged or have fallen down, flooded lawns with silt and salt water left behind, shredded orchards, destroyed fruit, and snapped tree limbs.

To get started, get rid of the dead, dying or diseased limbs of any trees you may have in your yard. For parts of a tree or plant that may or may not be damaged, wait a while and see if new growth develops. If you're still not sure what to do, feel free to contact a certified arborist or professional who will be able to help you make a decision and ensure that you salvage any part of your landscaping that you can.

To remedy leaning or uprooted trees, replant and set them in the right position if the root ball is still in its place. All you have to do is put the tree upright again and treat it like a newly transplanted tree. Water well until it becomes strong again.

If you think your lawn can't survive a major storm event, you may be wrong. Lawns can be quite tough and have been known to survive more than a month of flooding depending on the grass variety and specific conditions.

Irrigation may be necessary if your landscaping has been compromised by too much salt water. Make sure that all irrigation water is free of salt - if an irrigation pond has been flooded by too much salt water you may have to pump it out and fill it up again with clean water. Although rainfall can cause further problems, it often gets rid of any soil that has been contaminated.

Weeds can be a major problem after a storm as well. Hurricane winds often move seeds into new areas so you may have to deal with plants you have never seen before.

It can be difficult dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane, but if you make a plan and take it slowly, the cleanup shouldn't be too hard to handle. Picking up the pieces after a violent storm can be an emotional experience, but at the same time, it's a good opportunity to reevaluate how you have set up your landscaping and perhaps make changes to deal more effectively with the next storm.

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Devin Gilliland provides expert advice on tree service, landscaping and lawn care maintenance at

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