With the passing of Hurricane Charley’s anniversary and hurricane season in mid stride it brings back memories of that day more then 11 years ago. I often think about the days before Charley. How the canopy down Periwinkle way was a beautiful site. How lush the island was, how big the trees where and how much shade all of this provided. I have many memories that flood my mind when the topic of Charley comes up. One of the most vivid memories of all in the following weeks after Charley was how hot it was. After power was restored and life got back to a somewhat normal pace we received a great deal of calls from customers indicating that there must be something wrong with their air conditioner. It was the same problem over and over, the a/c system wasn’t keeping up. We ran call after call and came across the same issue. We finally came to the conclusion that the lack of shade created by Charley’s tree pruning had a huge effect on how important shade is to our overall comfort.
I spend a great deal of time suggesting different ways to improve our homes comfort level. Whether it is to add insulation in the attic, use curtains, blinds or to plant trees and bushes to block sun infiltration. Trees play an essential part in blocking the unnecessary heat around our properties; this was especially true in the days before air conditioning. The City of Sanibel has done some great work with the Periwinkle Way Restoration Project to help restore much of the flora that had been lost and I’m once again seeing the canopy return in parts over the our city’s arterial road. It’s not completely restored yet, but it’s nice to see shade on the bike paths again.
So, have you lost trees around your house after Charley? It’s never too late to replant. It may not give you much now, but in a few years it will bring its rewards. There are some fast growing shade tree options out there that can bring desired results in a shorter time period. Just nothing exotic or invasive please.
As always thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com