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Characteristics of suitable trees and shrubs.

  • Good flexibility such as found in some palms with thin flexible stems.

  • Good well-developed root system – preferably ones with a good taproot and where the roots haven’t been cut on one side by road works or something similar.

  • Ease of defoliation, i.e. the ability to lose leaves quickly and so offer little resistance to the wind, many eucalypts lost leaves quickly.

  • Plants with fine leaves offer little resistance. Some examples are Leptospermum, Bottlebrushes and Poinciana, or they may appear leafless as in She-oaks.

  • Open branch system as in the Sea Almond and other species of Terminalia, likewise the Milky Pines (Alstonia spp.). These allow the wind to pass through easily.

  • Lack of a dense top heavy canopy or crown.

  • Healthy trees, vigorous growth, no termites. Slow growing trees are often the best.

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Golden cane form a flexible debris-catching barrier, Pandanus remained standing. Aerial roots on Ficus gave good support.

Three oimages of trees showing little cyclone damageTrees without a dense canopy, trees with fine leaves and open branch systems offer little wind resistance