Dry weather making East Texas summer look like fall

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Take a look around. In the forests, in your neighborhood. You'll see yellow leaves. Some are even falling to the ground. A lack of rain is the cause.

"And that's a very natural defense against drought stress," said Dr. Hans Williams, an SFA forestry professor. "Most of the water lost from a tree comes through the leaves, so naturally when the drought gets so severe the trees will eventually drop the leaves in order to try to preserve even more water."

Some trees are at the breaking point. Huge limbs just fall in the still of the night.

"It was about 9, around when the new episodes of The Entourage come on and all I hear is this big timber thing starting to fall," Stephen Meyer said. "And next thing I know, I Iook out my window and there's a tree knocked over in our yard."

Tree services are staying busy.

"It's really not a typical summer," said Vicki Baggett, a tree service owner. "We're seeing a lot more dead trees, rather than just pruning and people fixing their yard. Trees are really dying a lot more frequently than normal."

Wednesday, they were cutting down dying trees during the second worst drought in the state's history.

"We would like to see the water front go down about 18-20 inches because that's where you would find most of the roots that do the water absorption in a tree," Williams said.

Homeowners shouldn't give up hope. Trees may appear dead, but could actually come back in the spring. Lots of water and mulching will increase the tree's survival.

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