Southwest GA trees stressed from drought - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Southwest GA trees stressed from drought

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A tornado watch and thunderstorm threat across southwest Georgia Monday could have spelled trouble for drought-stressed trees.

While our region may have missed out on the severe weather the dry conditions may only make it worse next time. Forestry experts say without rain, trees will continue to weaken and become a target for beetles and other insects.

Four limbs on this downed pine stabbed through the living room ceiling of this Americus home on West Azalea Street.

"The pine tree had a disease about 25 foot up and the wind just twisted it and landed it right on the trailer," said Lee Harper, Harper Tree Service.

Drought conditions from the summer have weakened many trees, causing branches to snap and without rain, experts say it will continue.

"Water's the most beneficial thing we can get right now for the trees," said Mark McClure, Georgia Forestry Health Specialist.

The dry conditions have also made the region ripe for Pine Beetles that target overly dry trees or those that have been hit by lightning.

"It don't take but about two weeks for beetles to kill a pine tree, kill it and drain the sap out of it and move on to the next," said Harper.

It's happening along Highway 19 across from the Fairfax Motel. Right now experts recommend if you notice your trees browning up, consider a trim.

"If you've got some dieback in your trees it might be a good time now that we're going into the fall to trim those, prune those limbs up," said McClure.

While some color is natural, experts say brown is not one of the natural colors. If you're watering your lawn, it won't hurt to make sure your trees get some of that water.

Experts say too much rain can also be hazardous when trees have been stressed by drought. If the ground gets soft around a tree with a weak root system, the tree can simply fall over.


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