ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0282.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: cyclone; defect; hurricane; likelihood of failure; storm damage; typhoon; urban ecology; urban forestry
Online: 21 May 2022 (11:03:18 CEST)
Urban trees are often more sun- and wind-exposed than their forest-grown counterparts. These environmental differences can impact how many species grow – impacting trunk taper, crown spread, branch architecture, and other aspects of tree form. Given these differences, windthrow models derived from traditional forest production data sources may not be appropriate for urban forest management. Additionally, visual abnormalities historically labeled as “defects” in timber production may not have a significant impact on tree failure potential. In this study, we look at urban tree failures associated with Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, USA. We used spatial analysis to determine if patterns of failure existed among our inventoried trees. We also looked at risk assessment data to determine which visual defects were the most common and the most likely to be associated with branch or whole-tree failure. Results indicate that there was no spatial pattern associated with the observed tree failures – trees failed or withstood the storm as individuals. While some defects like decay and dead wood were associated with increased tree failure, other defects like weak branch unions and poor branch architecture were less problematic.
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: hurricane; tree risk assessment; urban forest strike team; species failure profile; likelihood of failure
Online: 24 April 2020 (04:37:51 CEST)
Trees in residential landscapes provide many benefits, but can injure persons and damage property when they fail. In hurricane-prone regions like Florida, USA, the regular occurrence of hurricanes has provided an opportunity to assess factors that influence the likelihood of wind-induced tree failure and develop species failure profiles. We assessed open-grown trees in Naples, Florida, following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017 to determine the effect of relevant factors on the degree of damage sustained by individual trees. Of 4,034 assessed individuals (n = 15 species), 74% sustained no damage, 4% sustained only minor damage (i.e., minimal corrective pruning needed), 6% sustained significant damage (i.e., major corrective pruning needed), and 15% were whole tree failures (i.e., overturned trees or trees requiring removal). The proportion of individuals in each damage category varied among species, stem diameter at 1.4 m above ground, and the presence of utility lines, which was a proxy for maintenance. We compared our results with the findings of seven previous hurricanes in the region to explore species’ resilience in hurricanes.