Could the trees in your yard be dangerous? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Could the trees in your yard be dangerous?

June 29, 2004

Radium Springs-- The daily rain combined with strong winds can turn trees into potential hazards, even healthy trees.

A huge limb that fell during a storm earlier this week almost hit a mailbox. The leaves are green but that doesn't mean the tree is healthy. The trees in your yard may be a disaster waiting to happen too.

Broken limbs are scattered across a Radium Springs neighborhood. Rain and wind turn already unhealthy trees into potential dangers.

"When the ground gets saturated, like it is now, it's real easy for the whole tree to just fall over," says Chuck Norvell of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Norvell found many dangerous trees in the neighborhood. "There's a dead, good sized limb hanging over house. If that dead tree falls toward the house, it has a lot of weight to it, it will do a lot of damage. So it needs to be removed," said Norvell.

Norvell urges you to remove dead limbs and trees and survey your yard to spot diseased trees. "Pine trees can get a disease called fusiforme rust canker. The worst place to have them is close to the ground. It strangles the roots and kills them on one side, making it more susceptible to blow over."

Norvell often stops homeowners, like Wilbert Wright, to tell them about unhealthy trees. "I had 11 pine trees cut down, because they were to close to the house. I know trees can draw lightning, and we were a little afraid of that," said Wright.

"The closest one is 40 or 50 feet away so it doesn't pose too much danger.," said Norvell. News that reinsured Wright. " So I get an 'A'," Wright joked. Mr. Wright did get an 'A', but many of his neighbors did not.

If you have a dead or diseased tree in your yard, cut it down. It may cost as much as $1,000, but saving a car, house or a life makes it worth it.

The Georgia Forestry Commission will come out to your house and tell you which trees need to come down.

posted at 5:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com