CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's been a busy day for local tree-trimming businesses. Many companies dispatched crews to harder hit areas in the Western part of the state, but it wasn't too hard to find crews in Charlotte working overtime.

From uprooted trees to downed power lines, last night's storm packed quite a punch in certain areas around the county.

Darrell Steed of Darrell's Tree Service says his crews have been in the Myers Park and along Sharon Amity Road for most of the day.
We found his crews at Kings Drive cutting down loose branches weakened by high winds.

We are just going to cut the tree up and get it cleared up and make sure it is safe for the homeowner so they can sleep at night , says Steed.

He says the best line of defense is to maintain your trees before the storm rolls in.

Just thin them out, open them out so the wind can go through, that way you don't have to worry about them, although there is no guarantee with older trees.

Not far away, we found Todd Higgenbottom, crew leader at Heartwood Tree Service securing a 50 foot-long branch. He estimates it weighs about a ton. The branch had fallen onto a Buick Lucerne parked in front of a house on Queens Road West. He says you could see the area of decay at the base of the branch weakened over time.

Willow oaks are the fastest growing oaks species maybe in this area, some this size are maybe 100 years old, if that was a red oak, white oak, 200 years old, explains Higgenbottom. He suggests homeowners to get trees examined by a certified arborist. He suggest you examine your tree and look for discoloration and certain fungus growth. He says these are red flags that your tree may not survive fierce winds.

Mecklenburg County Emergency Management received more than a dozen reports of toppled trees, most involving older trees.

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