Experts suggest assessing tornado-damaged trees before winter hits

Local News

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – With winter officially just weeks away, Arbor Experts said it’s best to get trees checked out that may still be standing after the Memorial Day tornadoes, but are severely damaged, before it’s too late.

Along Wagner Ford Rd., broken or bent trees still line the street nearly six months after the tornado outbreak.

“There’s obviously a lot of visual damage to trees and so there is a lot of questions as far as what kind of trees should be retained, should be removed, what is safe, what is unsafe?” said Brian Benton, a certified arborist with Arbor Experts.

Benton encourages anyone who received damage from the tornadoes to have a certified arborist examine their trees before winter officially hits.

“The extra weight and strain of things like heavy ice, significant snow, significant wind blow, it’s going to increase the likelihood of poor branching or damaged branching,” said Benton.

Benton said those who are certified can determine on a case by case basis which need to be removed, or if it could be put off for a few months.

“There’s an immediate risk where a tree may be partially uprooted, there’s substantial cracking or partial branch breakage, preexisting decayed cavities where any branches growing above that could be an issue,” said Benton.

Benton and other experts said the tornado damage paired with other extreme weather conditions means the threat for damaged or dead trees is very real and are encouraging you to water your trees as long as you can.

“We’ve been in a drought and the plants, especially the trees and shrubs, need that water to survive over winter before the ground freezes,” said Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, the Montgomery County OSU Extension educator.

Click here for a list of certified arborists in the area.

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