What to look for to prevent winds from uprooting trees

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Going from a drought to heavy rain the ground is holding its moisture which is causing trees to topple.

Arborists say being a southern state is a big reason why many of these trees fall since we don’t normally get freezes below ground level fungus is able to live longer in the older trees making them weak.

Just over the past week several trees were knocked over in the metro area.

“A lot of them are uprooting just because of ground saturation. They lose their anchor as the soil becomes soft,” says L.E. Matthews, arborist.

Arborist L.E. Matthews with Matthews Tree Service says the heavier the tree the more likely it will fall.

“Larger trees have what I call a kite effect. The wind catches it and pulls it over,” says Matthews.

Matthews says there are ways to inspect trees to tell if it’s weak, “Discolorations; parts of the bark that are darker or much lighter than the rest of the bark on the tree.”

The biggest cause of weakness, Matthews says, is a fungal problem.

“You’ll find maybe mushrooms growing after a warm rain around the root of the tree,” says Matthews.

Matthews says other signs of fungus are hollow areas or cavities in the tree.

This fungus growth can either cause the whole tree to fall or limbs to break off.

Matthews says he prevents trees from falling by opening the tree and cleaning them out.

Just leaving the cavity of the tree allows wind to blow through those larger, heavy trees that are more susceptible to uprooting.

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