Belle Glade Sun

Cooperative Extension holding “After Irma: Restoring Trees and Preventing Future Damage” Seminars

WEST PALM BEACH — Hurricane Irma cut a large swath through Palm Beach County, leaving uprooted or 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, Palm Beach County Extension will be holding “After Irma: Restoring Your Landscape and Preventing Future Damage” for residents, business owners and community association representatives. The class will occur on Saturday, October 14, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will repeat on Tuesday, October 17, at the same times.

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, 531 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach. Cost: $5 per person to cover materials. Pre-register by calling Candace Smith at 561-233-1759, or by contacting her at, as class minimums and maximums apply.

Cooperative Extension will conduct a separate tree trimming class for green industry professionals on Thursday, October 19. Contact Candace Smith at 561-233-1759 or for more details and to pre-register. Vouchers will not be available at this program.