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5 Trees That’ll Withstand the Worst Storms and Still Look Great

More curb appeal, less hassle. That’s what these trees offer.

Don’t spend your time during a storm side-eyeing the towering elm beside your driveway, worried it might fall.

These five arborist-approved trees stand sturdy through the strongest winds and drenching rains — and give your curb appeal extra oomph.

Tulip Tree

George Washington loved these towering trees (pictured above) and their (surprise!) tulip-shaped petals: The babies he planted at Mount Vernon are now 140 feet tall.

Although skinny, tulip trees are surprisingly strong, with a narrow profile and strong wood structure that resists powerful winds.

Thin leaves with slender petioles — the stalks joining leaf and stem — provide an added bad-weather bonus: Wind slides right on by, says Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist at the Tree Care Industry Association. “They just flutter.”

But keep your tulip trees svelte. “The bigger it gets, the more likely it could fail in a higher wind,” says Andersen.

Bald Cypress

This stately conifer was born to survive serious flooding: it thrives in the Louisiana bayous (it’s also the state tree).”They have an amazing tapered trunk that’s exceptionally thick at the base,” and an extensive root system to match, says Woody Nelson, vice president of marketing and communications at the Arbor Day Foundation. “They’re super tolerant.”

But you don’t need waterlogged land to please a bald cypress. Hardy through zone 4, these trees will happily serve as your backyard centerpiece even when it’s dry.

Eastern Redbud

Beastly trees are best at surviving storms, but a yard filled only with tall trees is a dull yard indeed. Give your property a rosy hue with this small, decorative tree, whose pink buds attract butterflies and songbirds. (Coincidentally, another George Washington fave.) This small, sturdy option can fit into any yard, no matter how tiny. “We have members who will ask for 10 at a time,” says Nelson. “There’s always room.”

No tiny tree can withstand hurricane-force winds all by its lonesome, but the Eastern redbud is the best of the little guys. With a few taller trees to absorb the worst of the wind, your redbud will stand sturdy all storm season, says Andersen.

River Birch

Like the bald cypress, the river birch loves water — but it will survive just fine if your yard is clay, loamy, well-drained, soaking wet or anything in between. Unlike other birches, this variety resists pesky borers, keeping trunk and branches sturdy.

But the river birch isn’t simply flood-tolerant. Strong winds won’t topple this 70-foot beast. “It has a real dainty limb structure that bends, not breaks,” says Nelson. Just keep the limbs trimmed, otherwise its gargantuan size may become a drawback.

Oak Trees

“A slower-growing tree is a stronger tree,” says Andersen. “When wind blows on a small tree and the tree bends, it creates additional structures on the inside of the tree.”

No matter your style or yard needs, you’ll find an oak that suits. Live oaks feature curvaceous exposed branches, and the overcup oak is a gorgeous puff of green. As a rule, oaks tend to be slow-growing — a huge boon to storm-prone homeowners.

The result? Strong, supportive branches able to withstand serious storms. And with most oak trees topping out at around 60 feet, “the tree itself is not a giant sail,” Andersen says. To ensure sturdy oaks, buy small, not large. “If you’re transplanting a larger tree where the majority of the roots have been severed, it’s more susceptible to failure,” she says.

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A Guide to a Mediterranean-Style Kitchen

Whether you’re tackling a kitchen remodel with the help of a kitchen designer, architect or contractor, being able to pin down your favorite style will help get your project off to a smooth start. If you love a casually elegant, earthy look inspired by the sun and sea, Mediterranean style might be right for you. Read on for the need-to-know details about this popular kitchen style, including key elements, color palettes, fixtures and finishing touches.

Mediterranean-Style Kitchens at a Glance

Mediterranean-style kitchens are warm and welcoming, with an emphasis on natural materials such as wood, brick and stone. While traditionally Mediterranean kitchens have featured warm hues and heavy wrought iron details, today’s iterations often take a lighter approach, with plenty of white space to offset the rich tilework and natural wood. Here are some common elements to look for:

Whitewashed walls
Tile floors and back splashes
Natural stone counter-tops and details
Rough-hewn wood beams
Richly ornamented details such as patterned tile and carved wood

What You Won’t Find in Mediterranean Kitchens

While Mediterranean-style kitchens can incorporate contemporary touches, the focus is on classics that have stood the test of time. Here’s what you won’t see:

  • An abundance of modern, mass-produced materials
  • The latest trends
  • Highly polished finishes such as chrome
  • Delicate furnishings and decor
  • Bright or pastel color palettes

Earthy Color Palette

Rich hues inspired by the warm earth and sparkling sea look striking in a Mediterranean kitchen, especially against a calming backdrop of white and natural wood.

Colors for Mediterranean kitchens:
Neutral backdrop. Alabaster, parchment, straw, stone
Warm and earthy. Clay, cinnamon, chili pepper, flax, umber, bougainvillea, terracotta
Oceanic. Azure, cerulean, cobalt, turquoise, moss, sea green

Dark Wood

Natural wood with a deep, rich hue, such as walnut, looks right at home in a Mediterranean-style kitchen, particularly when paired with warm white for contrast. Incorporate natural wood cabinetry, windows, shelving, range hood details, counter stools — or all of the above.

Materials With Patina

Brick, stone and reclaimed wood bring welcome texture and a sense of history to a Mediterranean-style kitchen. Look for reclaimed-wood beams and furnishings, natural stone counters and rustic brick or stone flooring for an old-world look and feel.

Colorful Tile

Whether used on a floor or a backsplash, colorful tile is a must in Mediterranean kitchens. Look for hand-painted patterned tile, or work with a pro to create a design using solid-colored tiles in geometric shapes.

Design Detail: Statement Lighting

Oversize lanterns, classic candelabra fixtures and pendants can all work well in a Mediterranean kitchen. Look for lighting made from materials with a bit of natural patina, such as wrought iron, hammered metals and reclaimed wood — and for maximum ambiance, be sure to include a dimmer switch.

Design Detail: Arches

Mediterranean-style homes made from stucco or adobe often feature elegantly curving arch details. In the kitchen, consider the addition of an arched breakfast nook, windows and window seats, doorways or wall niches to add architectural interest.

Finishing Touches

Help your Mediterranean kitchen radiate warmth and welcome with the right finishing touches. Look for rugs in rich hues or natural fibers; leather stools; open shelves; and decorative objects in ceramic, wood and warm metals such as brass and copper.