Taking preventive measures taken before a storm hits help trees grow stronger and become more resistant to damage.
Pruning to promote the growth of strong branches:
1. Encourage good branch angles. For most deciduous trees, narrow angle between two branches is a point of future weakness. A good rule of thumb for many deciduous trees is to keep the angles at 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock.
2. Encourage a strong branch/trunk size relationship. Ideally, lateral branches should be no more than half the diameter of the trunk.
3. Maintain a stable center of gravity. The center of gravity for a tree should be over the trunk. Remove branches on the leaning side and encourage branch growth on the opposite side.
4. Remove rubbing branches, suckers, and watersprouts.
5. Don't cut branches back to stubs. Long, natural limbs on a tree are strong and can withstand storm-like conditions. If a branch needs to be removed, cut it back to the main branch or to the tree's trunk.