Expert: Have trees checked before storms hit - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Expert: Have trees checked before storms hit

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ATLANTA -

If you're a homeowner with trees on your property, severe weather takes on a whole new meaning.  One expert says you can take steps to prevent falling trees, and take some of the stress out of a storm.

Trees can make a beautiful landscape but when severe weather hits, all that beauty can turn ugly.

"Tree just started coming down. The rain had stopped but the wind had started to gust and I guess the ground was too wet," said homeowner Jeff Guthrie.

Certified arborist Doni Jones of Don's Tree Service says wind, rain and a willing tree are a bad combination. But before the storm hits, she says look for the three D's - dead, dying or damaged trees.

"You've got a tree that has the bark falling off. That's a good indication that the tree is dead or dying. It's got cavities throughout the trunk. That's a situation where you get some strong winds, too much rain and it can't handle the wind resistance and the tree breaks," said Jones.

Jones says dead limbs are also an indication that a tree is damaged. They should be cut now so you don't have a problem later. She says you should also look for thinning leaves; that's a symptom of a root issue.

"When you have a situation where you have healthy trees -- they're green, no structural issues that are apparent, it can be a situation where the roots are going through stress," said Jones.

She says look for mushrooms around the roots, they feed on dead wood. And though it may take years to manifest, cutting on roots to make room for a pool or driveway for example, will affect the overall tree. Jones says if you have questions about the health of a tree, ask an arborist. It may be the question that saves you in the end.

"If you keep on top of things and you have an arborist come out yearly or several times a year, like I suggest, you should not have just trees uprooting out of the blue," said Jones.

Jones says many certified arborists will check your trees for free. If you decide to cut or trim your tree, get several estimates. For more information, click here!

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