Cooperative Extension To Host ‘After Irma: Restoring Trees’

Hurricane Irma cut a large swath through Palm Beach County, leaving uprooted, torn and tattered trees in its wake. Sadly, residents could have prevented some of this damage, if they had planted more wind-resilient species and recognized the seven defects that increase the likelihood of tree failure.

To help rectify this problem, the Palm Beach County Extension Service will be hosting “After Irma: Restoring Your Landscape and Preventing Future Damage” for residents, business owners and community association representatives.

The class will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will repeat on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the same time.

The program will focus on selecting plants for wind resistance, proper planting and tree care, and pruning of young and mature trees to increase longevity and storm resilience.

Also covered will be how to assess and restore trees in the aftermath of storms, how and when to hire an arborist, plus tips on when to remove or restore a tree. Real-life images of damaged trees from Hurricane Irma will help participants understand the mechanisms of tree failure. A hands-on portion will include an examination of trees in Mounts Botanical Garden.

Participants will receive a voucher for two free three-gallon native plants per household, compliments of the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management.

Classes will be held at the Mounts Auditorium, located at 531 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.

The cost is $5 per person to cover materials. Pre-register by calling Candace Smith at (561) 233-1759 or by e-mail at Class minimums and maximums apply.

The Cooperative Extension will conduct a separate tree trimming class for green industry professionals on Thursday, Oct. 19. Contact Smith for more details and to pre-register. Vouchers will not be available at this program.