Managing Fruit Orchards to Minimize Hurricane Damage

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  • 1 Tropical Fruit Crops Specialist and Tropical Fruit Crops Specialist, Emeritus. University of Florida, IFAS, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL 33031-3314.
  • 2 Multi-County Tropical Fruit Crops Extension Agent and Multi-County Tropical Fruit Crops Extension Agent, Emeritus. Dade, IFAS Cooperative Extension Service, Homestead, FL 33030.
  • 3 Curator of Tropical Fruit/Extension Horticulturist, Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL 33156-4296
  • 4 Tropical Fruit Crops Specialist and Tropical Fruit Crops Specialist, Emeritus. University of Florida, IFAS, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL 33031-3314.
  • 5 Multi-County Tropical Fruit Crops Extension Agent and Multi-County Tropical Fruit Crops Extension Agent, Emeritus. Dade, IFAS Cooperative Extension Service, Homestead, FL 33030.

Hurricanes occur periodically in southern Florida, resulting in severely damaged or destroyed orchards due to high winds, fresh-water flooding, and salt damage accompanying these storms. Commercial fruit production is often markedly reduced following hurricane damage. Orchard establishment and management practices that increase tree rooting depth and reduce tree size decrease tree losses due to high-velocity winds that accompany these storms. Cultural practices, such as post-hurricane pruning, whitewashing, resetting, and irrigation of trees, can rehabilitate a damaged orchard. Planning for a hurricane will increase the ability of orchards to withstand a storm and resume fruit production as soon as possible following a storm.

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