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Publication #FOR118

Chapter 5 - Wind and Trees: Lessons Learned from Hurricanes1

Mary L. Duryea and Eliana Kampf2


Hurricane-force winds can be extremely damaging to communities and urban forests. Without question, trees can become hazardous and pose risks to personal safety and property. However, there are opportunities to better prepare for the next hurricane season by rebuilding a healthy urban forest. Valuable lessons can be learned from knowing more about how, when and why trees fail in storms. This fact sheet reports on the lessons learned from research conducted after 10 hurricanes by scientists at the University of Florida/IFAS. It also includes valuable field observations from professionals, such as urban foresters, scientists, and arborists. This publication is aimed at citizens and communities who seek to rebuild and set better urban forest management practices so that future storms are less devastating.

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This document is FOR-118, 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 September 2007. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at and


Mary L. Duryea, Professor, School of Forest Resources and Conservation and Associate Dean for Research, IFAS; Eliana Kampf, Urban Forester, School of Forest Resources and Conservation; 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.