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Getting trees checked before storms could prevent damage, even death
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Getting trees checked before storms could prevent damage, even death

Getting trees checked before storms could prevent damage, even death
Photo courtesy: Rickert Landscaping and Tree Service

Getting trees checked before storms could prevent damage, even death

Last week's record-setting wind storm left broken limbs and downed trees scattered across a wide swath of Green Country.

Certified Arborist and landscaper Todd Rickert says his office has temporarily doubled its staff to handle the huge volume of calls.

Many of the places he visits to assess have trees down on homes and cars that probably should have come down long before the storm struck.

He urges landowners to call him or another qualified expert to assess their trees before the next storm.

"Maybe you've noticed mushrooms or fungus growing on the side of the tree, maybe you've noticed a crack in the tree, maybe there's decay or a cavity in that tree," Rickert told KRMG.

Had he seen those things, or other more subtle indications of trouble, he says "I might have recommended we do some cabling or bracing, or probably removal" before the trees became dangerous.

He notes that Tulsa's urban forest suffered badly in the ice storms a few years ago, and since have had to deal with several years of drought.

For example, "there's a significant number of maples that are completely dead, and there's even a higher number of maples that are partially dead" due to the drought.

Their root systems die off when it gets too dry, and don't regrow properly.

He says last week's storm was more destructive than it should have been.

"A 70-mile-per-hour wind that we had won't normally take out a healthy tree. Sometimes it will, but the first trees that go are the weak trees."

Rickert says his business, Rickert Landscaping and Tree Service, will come out and do a free assessment by appointment.

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