Spotting trouble trees before a storm

12:19 AM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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  • David Vandergriff explains how unhealthy trees pose a risk

Another storm is approaching East Tennessee this week, coming on the heels of snow and ice from earlier this month. In advance of the latest weather event, tree experts are warning people to check their trees' health and proximity to power lines.

"Trees are always a concern in weather events, and unfortunately trees cause a majority of power outages," said David Vandergriff, a UT Agriculture Extension agent.

He says a high level of recent precipitation puts trees at a higher risk.

"Whenever we get really wet soil and the soil gets saturated, water is a lubricant and it can cause trees to fail because the soil fails. That means the soil loses its ability to hold the tree in the ground," he said, encouraging people to check the ground around their trees.

"You can go out and look around your large tree and if you see the soil is heaved up some, that's an indication the soil is starting to fail."

Vandergriff listed a number of other problems trees may present: decaying limbs and roots, crossed branches, or trees with full foliage still that could become heavy and break.

"People should always have their trees inspected periodically," he added. "It's not an every year thing, but every several years by a certified arborist."

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