Prepare trees for bad weather - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prepare trees for bad weather

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September 18, 2004

Albany-- Fallen trees caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage in South Georgia during Hurricane Ivan. The destruction left many storm victims asking what they could have done to prevent the costly damage.

Abraham Jordan says he's lucky. Wind gust from Ivan toppled his neighbor's 80 ft oak tree into his yard, missing his house by inches.

"To see the damage trees caused in other areas and have this tree come just inches away from my home, it was just a blessing in disguise," says Jordan.

But, unfortunately thousands of other South Georgians weren't so lucky. Downed tree caused extensive damage during the storm crashing onto roofs and smashing into cars.

Tree remover, Alvin Harden, says the first step in protecting yourself and property from falling trees is to act early.

"If they know a storm is coming and they want a tree down, don't wait to the last minute. There are only so many tree services in Albany, we can only get to so much," says Harden.

Harden suggest trimming tree limbs that hang over your house and cabling leaning trees. Most importantly, he says always be on the look out for signs of disease or tree rot.

"If it does not come out in the spring time, that tree is dead."

And if it's dead it could fall at any moment, so cut it down as soon as possible.

Harden says there is no rule of thumb when it comes to how close trees can be to your house it really depends on the your preference and the health of the tree.

"Of course, I have seen good trees break off in high winds and leave the bad ones standing. Who knows what Mother Nature is going to do to a tree," says Harden.

So that's why it's good to pay attention to how the trees around your house are growing and take early steps to prevent the damage.

Signs of rot on oak trees include dark spot and dry areas. On pine look for buckles on that tree.

posted at 6:08PM by scott.hunter@walb.com