Broken Arrow OK lies in the Central Irregular Plains ecoregion within the state. It is in the heart of tornado alley, and although the topography of the area is different from that of most of the rest of the Great Plains, it is still highly prone to severe weather.
According to the FEMA Community-Based Pre-Disaster Mitigation Resource Guide (May, 2004) the area experiences severe weather, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding and high winds. FEMA’s records suggest that over the course of the last 25 years, the Tulsa area (and Broken Arrow is part of the Tulsa Metropolitan area), the average frequency with which the area is hit by tornadoes is every four to five years. Many of these tornadoes have caused severe damage.
Tornadoes aren’t the only form of bad weather that this region sees each year. Other extremes include heat and drought, both of which may trigger wildfires. The intensity and frequency of bad weather present challenges for homeowners who want to have an attractive landscape, not just for the sake of curb appeal and the resale value of their homes, but so they can enjoy their investment that much more.
Protecting Landscape Plants from Severe Weather
- The easiest and smartest thing that homeowners can do to protect the plants and shrubs on their property is choosing native plants that are both zone hardy and suited to the Central Irregular Plains ecoregion. Native plants adapt to the environment and establish themselves well.
- Consider a Xeriscape landscaping plan because plants can withstand periods of drought and don’t require a lot of maintenance. A professional landscaping company can help you choose the best Xeriscape plants for the architectural design of our home and the conditions of your property. A Xeriscape design doesn’t merely consist of desert plants; it involves carefully choosing plants that can survive extended dry periods.
- Choose zone hardy plants because they can survive winter conditions, including sleet, freezing rain, ice, hail, and cold.
- Look for plants that are suited to your property’s conditions, including wind exposure and intensity, sun exposure, drainage, and soil quality.
- Hire landscapers to plant mature plants because they have more fully developed roots that will transplant well and anchor to the ground quickly. Immature plants can easily become projectiles during tornadoes. Tornadoes are capable of uprooting mature, well-established trees.
- Use taller shrubs that are planted close together to create a wind barrier for smaller plants.
- To prevent problems related to soil erosion from wind and severe weather, plant ground covers that spread. They will also block weed growth, moderate soil temperature and help with moisture retention.
- Be mindful of what and where you place plants, especially during extended periods of drought because wildfires are more likely. Avoid planting woody shrubs too close to the house and too close to other plants or trees because they turn into kindling.
Apply a layer of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs. Mulch serves several purposes, including weed prevention, moisture retention and maintaining consistent soil temperatures. It gives new transplants with immature or unestablished root systems, valuable nutrients at a time when fertilizing is ill advised because the roots may burn or suffer from other damage.
Plants and shrubs are important additions to a property and its overall landscape design. You can count Proactive Landscaping to help you create the landscape design of your dreams, making sure that every element of the design can withstand any severe weather scenario the Tulsa area may endure. Once your landscape installation is complete, we’ll continue to maintain it for you if you want. Call us today!