February winter storm

Tree Damage ‘All Over Texas' Months After Winter Storm

Texas A&M Forest Service says if your tree limbs are still bare, they will likely never grow leaves again.

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Fall has officially settled into North Texas, but many people may have noticed that plenty of trees in the region never got their full, green, leafy look in the first place.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, there is one likely culprit for that – the February winter storm.

“We’ve got tree damage all over Texas,” said Courtney Blevins, a staff forester with the Forest Service.

In his nearly 40 years with the Forest Service, Blevins said he has never seen a winter freeze do as much damage as it did this year.

Part of the explanation, Blevins said, is that the deep freeze settled in at the exact time that the buds on many tree limbs are starting to form.

But as for why the results appear to be so random – one tree may look fully healthy while another across the street might have more than half of its limbs looking bare – there is no consensus answer from the experts.

“[It] me nuts, but I don’t know. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and the longer I do it the more comfortable I am sometimes saying, ‘I don’t know,’” Blevins said. “It’s incredibly frustrating. I like to be able to say, ‘I know exactly why such and such happened to your tree,’ but we don’t always.”

At this point in the year, the Forest Service advises that if tree limbs are still bare there is little reason to believe the leaves will ever return. As a result, the thinking is that it may be best to have a certified arborist come help with trimming or, potentially, tree removal.

“The biggest concern is going to be safe, because it’s not going to be as structurally sound as it would’ve been with all of that in there,” Blevins said. “So you have to keep in mind how close is it to your house? Eventually, that stuff is going to start falling out of there.”

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