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Spotting hazardous trees

These trees may be in your backyard and could be a threat to fall on your house during a storm.

Posted: Dec. 27, 2018 5:46 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2018 7:50 PM

Madison Public Works was standing by, with chainsaws ready, waiting to clear any fallen trees that might happen because of the storm that blew through the Tennessee Valley on Thursday.

One homeowner in Madison told us he was on high alert ahead of the storm, "Concerned that limbs will fall, or certainly that trees might uproot and fall. We've had at least one case of that in the past that missed our house, but it certainly raised our concern," said Pete Brasseale.

He lives in Madison and has taken down a couple of trees near his house because of those concerns during storms, "Something you do regrettably, but it's necessary," said Brasseale.

Arborist Corey Brown told WAAY 31 many trees in Madison County could be at risk. When there's new construction, roots usually get covered with dirt, which means trees can't get oxygen. Some of the most common signs a tree is unhealthy are, "Rotten spots at the base that are weak. Trees that are tipped out of true and you can see the ground is heaving, particularly if they are aiming toward your house and ones that have rotten pockets up in the top," said Brown.

In the rain we'll experience over the next several days, an unhealthy tree can become even more of a hazard, "It can encourage faster rotting. The biggest problem is when the ground is soft its easier to tip over in the wind," said Brown.

Brown told WAAY 31 Huntsville Utilities checks trees every five years to make sure they're not in danger of falling on power lines. The every 5 year check is also a good measure for homeowners to check the health of their trees.

For this storm we're seeing Thursday, its a little too late to take care of hazard trees. If you have worrying trees in the future Brown suggests having a licensed professional come take a look at them to come up with a plan to make sure they don't end up falling on your house, or a car.

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