Expert shares how to detect troubled trees

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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ATLANTA - With all of this rain and wind, dozens of trees are falling down throughout metro Atlanta.

Certified arborists told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman that there are signs people can look out for to protect their families from potentially dangerous trees.

"Things to look out for are mushrooms and decay. If you have a mushroom, that is usually a bad sign," certified arborist Robert Driskill said.

Another sign to look out for is insect infestation.

"Basically, what they are doing is going inside and the tree and laying their eggs, and they are feeding on it," he said.

Other warning signs include:
• Newly leaning trees
• Large broken or hanging limbs
• Tree cavities
• The ground lifting around a tree

Stacey McGrath spent the day cleaning up her lawn after several trees fell from her neighbor's property in Brookhaven. McGrath said she consistently checks on the trees on her property to make sure they are in good condition.

"In this neighborhood, we just have a lot of big trees and that is a sense of pride for people. I think the risks are just something you can't predict," McGrath said.

Driskill explained that diseases, insect infestation, fungus, decay and root rot, are key signs that a tree may need to be removed.

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner urges people who hire companies to remove fallen trees to make sure the company has general liability insurance and workers' compensation.

Click here for information on how to verify arborists certifications.