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Publication #ENH1056

Chapter 6—Design Solutions for a More Wind-Resistant Urban Forest1

Edward F. Gilman and Traci Partin2


Researchers who visited post-hurricane sites found that many incidents of tree failure could have been prevented with appropriate design and management. Many large trees had been planted too close to curbs, sidewalks, foundations, and pavement. Roots on mature trees had either decayed or been cut close to the trunk. These conditions resulted in trees toppling in high winds. Limited rooting space presents a challenge to creating sustainable landscapes. This fact sheet discusses strategies for developing strong root systems on newly planted trees and preserving the roots of existing trees. Other elements of wind-resistant design, such as design solutions for existing situations, tree grouping and species selection, are also described.

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This document is ENH 1056, one of the Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date Septermber 2007. Reviewed February 2017. Visit the EDIS website at and


Edward F. Gilman, professor; and Traci Jo Partin, horticultural information specialist; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.