Atlanta May No Longer Be 'The City In A Forest'

ATLANTA,None — Atlanta's nickname, "The City in a Forest", may not hold true much longer, according to some arborists who said the city and surrounding areas are rapidly losing trees.

Certified arborist Patrick Mawhinney said this is the worst he's seen in 20 years.

He blames extreme periods of drought.

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"The trees become weaker, weaker, weaker. And then you get more breakage during high wind storms. But you also get the trees that roll out of the ground," Mawhinney said, who's also a member of the Georgia Arborists Association.

The trees roll out of the ground, because they thick Georgia clay doesn't allow most trees to have a tap root.

"We have a bowl under the tree. And that bowl actually just rolls out of the ground in high winds. Because the roots, the tree becomes compromised because they're not anchored correctly," Mawhinney said.

Add to that, pests and fungus and it's just too much for some trees to handle, Mawhinney told Channel 2's Sophia Choi.

"Normally, the trees can block these pests off, compartmentalize and keep the pests at bay. But when they're weak, their system doesn't work," according to the arborist.

Atlanta resident Nicole Schimmel said she's noticed a lot of uprooted trees at Piedmont Park where she jogs saying, "After one big storm it just was all in the path and a lot of trees like that I've seen in the park."

Her solution: replace what's lost.

"I think if we're losing trees, all we can do is plant more and hope that they grow," Schimmel said.

According to Trees Atlanta, the best time to plant is in the fall when your tree has the best chance of surviving.

If you're trying to protect what's already planted around your yard and neighborhood, Mawhinney has one simple trick.

He told Choi all you have to do is water one inch, once a week.