Windstorm: How to prevent toppled trees, dispose of palm fronds


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Bad night to be a tree in Southern California. Toppled eucalyptus and wind-whipped palm fronds have turned streets into obstacle courses. As we brace for more high winds Thursday and Friday, it’s worth revisiting the Dry Garden column by Emily Green last year about how to prevent trees from falling in your yard. Writes Green: ‘When trees do blow over, often it’s because of circularized roots, the chopping of roots and, most often, the over-watering of roots.’ Preventing your statuesque shade plant from becoming mere lumber is a task that starts in the nursery or garden center, writes Green, who walks through us through the process.

It’s also worth noting that we need to think twice before putting any of those fallen palm fronds into the green waste bin. That may seem like the eco thing to do, but as noted in our ‘Can I Recycle ...?’ series, some cities do not want palm fronds in their green bins. Palm heads are particularly problematic, as municipal mulching equipment can’t grind seeds adequately to prevent them from germinating in the compost. More details and advice are in the recycling palm fronds post and our Can I Recycle...? gallery.


-- Craig Nakano

Photo, top: A fallen tree blocks Mulholland Drive west of the 405 Freeway on Wednesday night. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.

Photo, bottom: Palm fronds in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. on Thursday morning. Credit: Associated Press.