Texas Forest Service: Dead Limbs Pose Danger

Local tree removal services are swamped

By Keaton Fox
|  Friday, Jul 6, 2012  |  Updated 6:43 PM CDT
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Tree removal companies are seeing a spike in business from trees lost in the drought.

Keaton Fox, NBC 5 News

Tree removal companies are seeing a spike in business from trees lost in the drought.

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The sound of chainsaws typically accompanies the cleanup following a big storm.

But this work is from just the opposite: the lack of rain or storms has a significant toll -- 500 million trees have died as a result of last year's drought according to the Texas Forest Service.

Local tree removal services agree.

"Oh my gosh, we have other branches in other states and I've been so swamped, we've had to call in reinforcements from other branches to help out," said certified arborist Glen Jennings. He works with local removal service Arbor Masters.

Jennings said sometimes the tell-tale signs are slow to appear.

"Losing its leaves early, if the bark starts cracking, that's a bad sign," Jennings said.

Many trees died last year and should be showing signs of life. Now many trees sport the mark of death---a fluorescent orange "x".

"Across the state there are millions and millions of trees," Jennings said. "I, personally, have never been in the middle of something like this before. Small droughts, yeah, but statewide?"

And the Texas Forest Service now is warning folks that those dead limbs could pose a big problem.

The agency warns falling limbs on a neighbors house could cause damage, or even death if the limb falls on someone.

With the amount of work left to be done... Jennings says you can expect the sound of chainsaws for months to come.

"It's just been a crazy spring."

Click here for examples of dead trees and live trees from the Texas Forest Service.

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