Weakened trees cause issues in Deep East Texas after tropical disturbances

Weakened trees cause issues in Deep East Texas after tropical disturbances

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - In the past month, Deep East Texas has dealt with two tropical disturbances that caused damage. Officials are now saying even with just wind gusts like we experienced Monday, it can cause problems for the area.

“One of the things we look at related to trees is damaged limbs and things of that nature,” said Jacob Donellan with the Texas A&M Forest Service. “Really, the wind damage in these particular events has been the most concerning.”

Donellan said normally, there are two types of damage to trees: underground in the root system and the crown of the tree with its branches and the upper portion of its trunk.

“What you look for are broken hanging branches that are split or they might be broken off and caught in other branches that can be a threat for folks and a hazard in or around or underneath the tree,” Donellan said. “The other one that is a little more difficult to see if you get enough wind that can spring the roots. Basically, they move the tree so much they sway. They can dislodge some of the roots. And the tree, as it yields to the wind, pulls on the roots in the ground and they may snap and break.”

Donellan said with even rain and wind gusts like the area experienced Monday, trees can fall or limb break. Monday morning, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative reported that about 600 members were out of power because of fallen trees from the tropical disturbances. Those outages have since been restored.

“When we encounter high winds and damage, we can also expect those to get into the power lines," Donellan said. "They will definitely cause problems for quite some time until those limbs either get knocked out by other wind events, or sometimes, they just rot and break off up in the trees.”

Donellan said to help with the problem, you can call a professional arborist or a tree trimming company.

“It’s easy enough around your home to recognize those damages," he said. "But there are so many trees in East Texas that you can’t inspect every one of them, and throughout the landscape, there’s going to be a lot of trees with damage that we don’t see.”

Donellan said when going around trees, especially as hunting season approaches, to be aware of your surroundings He said if you are going to put a tree stand up, look up and make sure there aren’t any branches hanging. If you can, safely remove them. If not, he says you probably should find another tree.

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