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Disaster Reduction for Resilient Communities

The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) on October 10 encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. Here in South Florida, we are no strangers to natural disasters. Though we’ve almost made it to the end of the 2014 hurricane season, here are a few tips to ensure your plants and trees are secure enough to weather any storm.

Disaster Reduction for Resilient Communities

The first step is choosing the right plants and trees for your space. Here are some you should avoid:

  • Australian pine
  • Box elder
  • Bradford pear
  • Elms
  • Hackberry
  • Hickories
  • Laurel oak.  Live oak is an alternative; it resists wind damage.
  • Pecan trees should not be planted near the house.
  • Poplars, with the exception of tulip poplar.
  • Red cedar
  • Red maple
  • Silver maple. Because of it’s fast growth the wood is weak.
  • Water oak
  • Weeping fig
  • White pine
  • Willows

Always keep tree branches trimmed and as far from your roof as possible. Remove any dead wood. To identify dead wood, look for hollow places or mushroom growth. If you happen to spot dead branches near the top of the tree, this unfortunately means it may not survive.

The right kind of landscaping for your South Florida home is sustainable and resilient in the event of a storm. Sustainable landscaping helps protect our waterways, attracts local wildlife, reduces stormwater runoff, manages pests, and protects our fragile tropical eco-system.

To make the most of your Florida garden or yard, visit http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/yards/.  This resource will teach you to make sustainable, South Florida friendly choices when buying plants, fertilizer and mulch.

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