Here’s how you can protect your home from falling trees

How to keep yourself safe from down trees during storms

ATLANTA — Trees make the metro Atlanta area beautiful, but when it comes to storms, our trees put many of our homes and businesses at risk of damage when they fall.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon learned how you can protect your home.

[GEORGIA WEATHER TODAY: Storms, possibly severe, ahead for Sunday night]

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Certified Arborist Christie Bryant said metro Atlanta gets more tree damage in the spring than in the winter.

"We have a lot more chance of tree failure when they're fully leafed-out than when they're not because of the wind mast," Bryant said. "Why does the ship sail? Because the wind catches the sail."

Bryant said any tree has the potential to fail depending on the strength of the wind.

"It is so important to have your trees checked out by an arborist, especially if you live around mature hardwoods," Bryant said.

The heavier the tree, the more damage it will do.

"The further away it is from your house, the more momentum the canopy can build as it comes down and do more damage," Bryant said.

There are usually indications a tree could come down. If it has been partially uprooted, there will be evidence.

"You can walk behind the tree and you'll see caverns," Bryant said. She said there will be visible miniature cracks on the back side of the tree in the ground.

Bryant advises you be sure to check around the trees nearby very well for changes after storms have passed. She said you should take pictures, especially if you notice trees leaning toward your home. Have them handy so that you can compare the lean from before and after the storm.

"If it's a new lean because the roots have been damaged in a storm or something like that, then it needs to be dealt with immediately," Bryant said.

Bryant said some people make the mistake of wanting more grass to grow and trees are cut and shaped improperly. That can make them ore susceptible to wind damage. Cutting away large branches away from your house can also cause the tree to become unbalanced.

It’s a good idea to have your trees checked by an arborist and budget for tree care every three to five years.

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