Soggy ground can topple old trees - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Soggy ground can topple old trees

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

A public works crew is putting the finishing touches on an unexpected two-day tree removal project in Thomasville. And that was just for one tree. Tree experts say the seemingly never ending rain and sporadic winds have and will continue to knock down trees in South Georgia.

It took nearly two days and a team of Thomasville city workers to remove this old oak tree that came tumbling down yesterday on Remington Avenue.

"We've seen a lot of trees on top of houses. On top of other structures such as sheds, buildings or whatever. And of course some of them fall across the streets too taking out power lines," said Arborist Representative Brain Kelley.

Luckily this downed tree did not hurt anyone or damage any homes, but it did block traffic and temporarily cut power. "The biggest concern is obviously residential areas. If it falls on somebody's house there is always a risk of personal injury," said Kelley, an arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts.

 He says as long as the rain keeps coming, more trees will come down. "The roots are just really saturated right now and it doesn't take a whole lot of wind to come along and just topple those things over."

Kelley says checking a tree for dead or damaged parts is an easy way to prevent a disaster. "Most of your bigger companies, they offer that service for free. Companies like mine, we come out, take a look around. And we have a trained eye and we see things the average person may not pick up on."

And Kelley says homeowners can sometimes even take care of the problem themselves. "A lot of people don't really look up at their trees. Just look up and see if you got dead tops or dead pieces in the tree, that's a sign that there is usually other issues in the tree like root problems."

Kelley says the most important tree his company maintains is Thomasville's 350-year-old "Big Oak." He says it requires routine care for preservation, tourism, and safety.

"We've seen quite a few on houses over the last couple of weeks. Starting on July 4th which was probably because of all of the excessive rain that we had in June. We inspect and adjust the cabling system and the lightning protection system in it. And we also have a process we call root invigoration. So we bring out an air compressor and a supersonic air spade."

"Every time we are here doing work just for a couple of hours, I'm sure we see 30, 40 or even 50 people stop by and take pictures. It's a big attraction. It is what Thomasville is known for."

 A certified arborist conducted a Street Tree Inventory in Thomasville in April. The report estimated the value of 177 Live Oaks and 75 Dogwoods surveyed at more than $1.2 million.

 

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