Collapsing trees still an issue in Lufkin

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Two massive downed trees have taken out electricity and blocked a roadway on Maas Street in Lufkin Thursday morning.

According to Martin Aguinaga, a resident of the area, the first tree went down around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Aguinaga said he had concerns the other would come down on his house, as it sat at a 45-degree angle. He said that tree came down around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. It did not hit his house but did damage a fence.

Aguinaga said the second tree took out a power line, but Oncor crews responded quickly to restore the power.

"I knew it was going to fall," Aguinaga said. "It's been raining for about a month, and I've seen a lot of other trees in the area falling as well. When I saw that one, I said this one is going to fall too."

Although Lufkin has been experiencing drier weather lately, the ground is still very damp. However, there's another contributing factor in play that's also causing the trees to collapse.

"We also have the legacy of the 2011 drought when we had all the wildfire," said Texas A&M Forest Service District Forester Todd Nightingale. "That same drought has caused a lot of die-back in trees and damage, and that damage is actually showing up in trees."

Due to both the damage and the still wet ground, collapsing trees are still an issue people need to be aware of. There are also things they can look for to possibly stop trees from falling.

"Are there branches dying back, are there branches beginning to fall, are there any tell-tale signs that the tree is decline?" Nightingale said.

Nightingale said that if you do notice your tree is dying or about to collapse, you should call a tree service immediately and have them professionally survey and remove it. If the tree you're worried about is in a neighbor's yard, communicate with them and come up with a solution together.

According to the Forest Service, with the temperatures warming up and summer heat on its way, the ground should be drying up soon. However, until then, be cautious.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.