• Worried about your trees falling? These are the signs to look out for

    By: Katie Walls

    Updated:

    Trees come down regularly in summertime thunderstorms. Most of these trees have one thing in common: they’re dead or dying.

    Alex Beasley, a certified arborist with Trees Atlanta, showed Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls trees in the heart of the city showing signs of weakness. 

    Tree branches that have no foliage are a sign of dead limbs. Another sign of a susceptible tree is a split trunk.

    “The different trunks, as they grow in girth, start to push against each other and make the tree a little more prone to failure,” says Beasley. 

    Beasley says to watch for “climbers” like kudzu, English ivy and wisteria. 


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    “Our public enemy No. 1 right here is English ivy. While it makes a beautiful ground cover, I will admit that it’s dangerous for people to use because it does climb up trees, chokes off the oxygen,” says Beasley.

    Plus those “climbers” add extra weight to the trees, “especially in shear wind events, snow, rain you have hundreds sometimes thousands of pounds.”

    Beasley says it’s imperative to cut those “climbers” back to prevent your tree from being weakened. 

    “It’s as easy as getting a machete or some pruners or a little saw and cutting along the base of the tree.

    "Just like the English ivy is doing to the tree, it’s going to cut off its supply of nutrients down below. In a week to a month, [ivy] will start to brown out, lose its grip on the tree and fall. It’s important to stay on it. It is an invasive species,” says Beasley. 

    If you ever have any questions about trees in your yard or on public property, call a certified arborist of the City of Atlanta Arborist Division. One will come out and determine if trees on private or public property are dead, dying or hazardous.

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