Cyclone season in Australia is looming like a broody cloud on the horizon. This means that tree owners all across the country should be checking and rechecking their trees to make sure they are healthy and strong. Above ground, pruning your trees will give fierce winds less to hold onto. This will protect both you and your tree from injury during a heavy storm.

However, you need to be aware of what's happening below ground too. During wet and windy weather, trees need to keep a firm grip on the ground in order to remain upright. A weakened root system may not be strong enough to hold a tree in place in severe storms.

This is where heavy foot traffic comes into play.

Heavy Foot Traffic Causes Soil Compaction

Australia utilizes boardwalks in many of its national parks. These boardwalks provide walkers with a safe and sturdy walking platform while also protecting the plants and trees in the area. If these boardwalks were not in place, the treading feet of thousands of visitors would eventually cause soil compaction.

Plant and tree roots do not fare well in compacted soil.

Soil Compaction Weakens Root Systems

A tree's root system doesn't just feed the tree, it also holds the tree steady and stops it from keeling over in strong winds. However, when the soil around a tree's root system becomes compacted, its root system weakens since its feeder roots struggle to break through the compacted soil. As a result, the tree takes in less nutrients, water and oxygen, and has fewer roots to anchor it in place.

Trees in Heavy Foot Traffic Zones Are a Risk

Do you have a tree in your yard that attracts heavy foot traffic on a daily basis? That tree could become a hazard in the coming cyclone season. For instance, if your trampoline is under a tree in your yard and has been for several years, the soil could be compacted. Likewise, if your tree's root system is near a footpath that sees a lot of traffic, its root system may be severely weakened.

You'll need to prepare it for the coming storm season.

An Arborist Can Reduce the Risk of Your Tree Falling

Rather than remove your tree, which would be a great shame considering the benefits it likely offers you and your family, you should hire an arborist to prune it. Pruning your tree will take much of the stress away from its root system in bad weather. For instance, in powerful winds, a smaller canopy with fewer branches will be a smaller target and thus put less strain on the root system.

In this instance, tree lopping can help to keep you and your home safe while ensuring that you can continue to enjoy the benefits your tree has to offer come next summer.