Arborist: Excessive rain fall poses threat to trees

Arborist: Excessive rain fall poses threat to trees

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 8 at 5:53 PM

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. -- Experts say our recent heavy rains pose a threat to trees and could lead to more trees falling if winds pick up.

The problem is excessive rain making root rot worse in already unhealthy trees, said Charlotte City Arborist Don McSween.

We've already had a couple recent examples of trees falling after rain storms.

A tree fell over the weekend in Myers Park.

A downed tree cut power to Carowinds for about seven hours last week when it fell after a rainstorm.

Last month, a tree on Park Road fell onto an SUV with two people in it.  Nobody was hurt.

In 2008, a rotting tree fell on an SUV on East Boulevard and killed a woman.

A year later, another rotted tree fell on East Boulevard and crushed an SUV.  The people inside survived.

In general, city arborist Don McSween says a lot of rain over the span of a few weeks, like we've had, can make already unhealthy trees more vulnerable to falling but it can cause problems for healthy trees too.

"These clay soils, once they become soaked don't have the adhesion to the root system. Even on a healthy tree there are cases where you have the combination of several days of rain and then you get a storm with high winds and even healthy trees can be blown over in those particular instances."

McSween says the best way to check if your tree is rotting is to look for mushrooms growing at the base, because it likely means root rot and you should call an arborist.

The tree that fell on Park Road landed in John Prascak's yard. 

Monday, he noticed a different tree leaning toward his house that he says was not leaning that way prior to all the rain.

He had a rotting tree removed from his yard about three years ago.

"I may have some more problems," Prascak said while looking at the leaning tree.

 

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