Drought, storms cause trees to fall

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 9:12am

Across Shreveport Monday, trees and branches littered the roadways, remnants of the evening's storms. For some residents, though, that rain caused more trouble than it was worth. Tomias Williams says a tree fell on his home early that morning, crashing through his mother's bedroom, where the 64-year-old lay sleeping. Williams says she's on a respirator and was taken to a local hospital for breathing treatments. While Williams and his family escaped serious injury, they weren't the only Ark-La-Tex residents battling the elements. A tree also toppled into a cancer health care center, causing patients to evacuate.

So what's causing these trees to fall? According to Steve Muslow with Muslow Forestry, it's a combination of factors. He says many of these trees are dead or dying after a brutally hot, dry summer. Rain is essential to breathe life back into them, but  too much at one time can be a problem. That's because the excess moisture can loosen the gound around the trunk. Muslow says that alone wouldn't cause the tree to topple, but when coupled with strong winds, a drought-stressed tree may not have the strength to stand.

And for the most weakened trees? They may not live to see the one thing they've been waiting for all summer.

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