How Much Wind Can a Tree Withstand in Knoxville, TN?

Few things can beat the feeling of being around swaying trees on a hot summer afternoon. The tranquility that comes with being around trees can make you feel relaxed. However, when storms arrive, you’ll likely find yourself worrying about tree damage as you see the trees violently swinging across your landscape.

As the leading provider of top-notch tree trimming services in Knoxville, people ask us, “How much wind can a tree withstand?” before they decide on trimming their trees or allowing them to grow further.

What’s the right answer? What’s the real wind tolerance of trees? We’ll cover the details below.

how much wind can a tree withstand

Wind Speeds in Knoxville and Wind Endurance of Trees

The average annual wind speed in Knoxville, TN, lies between 6.0 and 6.71 mph. February 27, 2023, saw the highest recorded wind gust in the area at 87 mph.

What is the significance of those numbers? First, it shows that you can expect wind speeds to hover around 40-50 mph most of the time. When storms hit, the wind speeds can edge closer to 90 mph.

So, how much wind can a tree withstand in Knoxville, TN? Unfortunately, the varying wind speeds we get here mean measuring tree wind resilience is not practical. Many factors combine to determine how much wind a tree can withstand.

However, knowing how much wind a tree can withstand is not as easy as determining how much wind it CAN’T withstand. According to a report in Physics World, researchers in France found that all tree trunks will break at wind speeds of 90 mph regardless of their size or the tree species.

So, you can say that the maximum wind load for trees is 90 mph.

Factors Affecting Tree Wind Stability

Some of the factors that will affect tree wind resistance include:

The Tree Species

Some trees hold up better against high winds than others. Large trees with wide trunks, like maples and oaks, have stronger wood and more flexible branches. Therefore, they withstand high winds better than trees with more brittle wood, like poplars and willows.

The Root Structure

Trees with deeper, expansive root systems generally prove more stable.

The Tree Age and Health

Younger trees have weaker wood and generally less developed root systems. Therefore, they tend to break more often following high winds. Old trees aren’t always safe either because they likely have structural issues, decay, and disease.

The Soil Conditions

Trees growing in properly drained, deep soils will have a stronger root network than those in shallow, compacted soils.

The Tree Location

Trees in low-lying areas and sheltered valleys will not bear the full weight of high winds compared to those on ridges and exposed hillsides.

Prevent Wind Damage With Expert Tree Advice From the Pros

Instead of asking, “How much wind can a tree withstand?” and thinking about the odds of tree branches growing back after storm damage, you should take steps to ensure your trees are better equipped to withstand high winds.

Not sure how to do it? We can help!

Call Pro Tree of Knoxville today at 865-294-0062 to schedule a consultation.

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