Identifying dead trees & the threat they pose during severe weather

Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 4:11 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 3:45 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Preparation for severe weather season looks different for everyone, but one thing you’ll want to tackle before a First Alert Weather Day is announced are any dead or dying trees in your yard.

Anyone with trees around their property should be on the lookout for the “Three Ds:” Death, damage, and disease.

Molly O’Liddy, with the Virginia Department of Forestry, has some tips on how to spot potentially dangerous trees.

High winds and heavy rain can bring a compromised tree quickly.

As winter is coming to a close and spring begins, keep an eye out for damaged trees. O’Liddy notes that “damaged” is something they saw a lot of after this winter’s snow and ice.

“The stress of the of the weight of the ice and the snow caused a lot of tree branches to just give way and break over time if a large part of the tree broke off during the storm, that can open it up to some disease and further decay,” she said.

Stand-alone trees are most susceptible because they don’t have an extensive root system to keep them grounded.

“Trees that are grouped together already have a substantial kind of defense system already built-in,” said O’Liddy.

The roots tend to grow together and create a more stable root system underground.

Keeping tabs on the trees in your yard is essential because they live, grow, and change things. Just like your house needs routine maintenance, trees do too.

The most important takeaway is to contact a certified arborist ahead of severe weather season. They can take a walk around your yard and point out possible issues and help create a plan of attack.

Get the NBC12 First Alert Weather App, here.

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