Arkansas has already experienced its first tornado of the season. With more severe weather on the horizon, it’s important that we take precautions to ensure the safety of our homes. One place to start is with the trees on our property.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Arkansas experiences 40 tornadoes a year on average. Generating winds that can reach more than 200 mph, tornadoes can destroy structures and snap trees that cause even more destruction as they are hurled about by the storm.

However, property owners often don’t think of hiring a certified arborist until after damage is done. These professionals can determine the type of preventative maintenance needed to improve the health, appearance and safety of trees.

“Working with a certified arborist before and after a storm strikes is an important part of storm safety that is often overlooked,” said Kyle Cunningham, president of the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council. “Strong and healthy trees that are properly pruned and free of disease are more likely to withstand a storm and less likely to cause extensive damage to property.”

After a storm, an arborist can safely perform emergency tree care, and if the recommendation is to remove trees, an arborist can safely do so, usually without causing further property damage.

Unlike other services that offer tree removal at discounted prices, a reputable arborist will have insurance that covers personal and property damage.

For more information on finding a certified arborist in your area, go to arkansastrees.org.

About Arkansas Urban Forestry Council AUFC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of community trees. It educates and promotes good community forestry policies and management practices by working with residents and public officials on important natural resource and tree care issues. It provides assistance to Arkansans on the conservation and improvement of the state’s community forests. For more information, visit ArkansasTrees.org or follow AUFC on Facebook.