Drought Followed By Heavy Rains Killing Older Trees Across Texas
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The large oak tree in Margaret Kliever’s front yard has likely made it through a century of Spring storms, but it wasn’t strong enough to withstand Monday’s wind or Tuesday’s rain.
“I’m sure that it’s very old,” the Fort Worth resident said, “that wind storm, it blew it over on the roof.”
“For the next three years we’re going to have problems with them, said Tim Chavez, owner of JC Tree Service.
Last summer’s drought has weakened the branches and limbs in all types of trees across Texas, making them more susceptible this spring to damage during storms, Chavez said.
“The tree is going to try to fend to its core first,” he explained, “the limbs that are coming to the outside of it, they’re trying to stay alive but it’s focusing on its core first.”
The Texas Forest Service estimates the 2011 drought has already killed 5.6 million trees in urban areas, but some experts believe that number could rise significantly.
Many trees may be too weak to make it through the spring or another hot summer. “If they’re highly stressed, trees are going to be dying as we go, Chavez said.
The drought’s toll could eventually cost Texans millions of dollars to cut down and remove the trees that don’t survive or come back this spring.
“I never dreamed anything like that was going to happen,” Kliever said of her downed tree.
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