Hurricane Preparedness: Plants That Guard Your Home

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Garden Dept. Offers Suggestions on Protective Trees and Shrubs that Withstand a Storm 

When hurricanes are in the forecast, it is common practice for homeowners to prepare by boarding up their windows and tying down their trees. But, for those in the danger zone of these tropical storms, some advanced planning in the form of landscape design could reduce the need for extreme protective measures. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, The Garden Dept. in Coram, New York is offering some out of the ordinary solutions to reduce future destruction. 

Though plants cannot help to reduce the flood damage that typically follows a hurricane, there are many plants and trees that can withstand the effects of wind, debris and rain. On Long Island, where The Garden Dept. is based, some immediate solutions might include live oak, spruce and coco plum trees. 

“The idea is to put plants in place that can act as a shield against the high-velocity winds of a hurricane,” explains Don Caroleo, Owner of The Garden Dept. “You want something that offers dense greenery, which will help to break the wind. These should be planted in groups, in areas most susceptible to damage. It’s important to also remember to keep hedges and shrubs trimmed to encourage a dense growth among the buds.” 

For roof protection, trees that grow tall and offer large, dense greenery and a heavy trunk are the most ideal. This is why palm trees are so common in southern regions with frequent hurricanes. In New York, options might include ficus or dogwood trees, which grow, especially for one-story homes. 

“The main thing to always remember is that your trees and shrubs must be strong enough to withstand the hurricane-force winds,” adds Mr. Caroleo. “Considering that our region has experienced its fair share of destructive storms, if your yard includes aging trees or ones with long trunks and very little greenery, you may want to consider hiring a landscaper to better prepare your home.” 

The Garden Dept.’s 16-acre Coram retail/wholesale location is open seven days per week and its eight-acre Dix Hills wholesale location is open Monday to Saturday. Both locations provide deliveries to homes and job sites throughout the tristate area for items such as trees, shrubs, plants and decorative stone, as well as gravel, compost, topsoil and mulch by the yard. For assistance with your landscaping or gardening needs, contact The Garden Dept. at 631-736-DEPT (3378) or visit online at