Heavy rain puts trees at risk of drowning, being uprooted

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 5:21 PM CDT
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Rain is in the forecast for most of next week and the excess water brings flooding. With all the extra water in the ground, trees can actually drown.

Owner of All About Trees, Noel Boyer, says if a tree doesn’t have oxygen in the roots and it sits in water for too long it will drown. Nonstop rain puts trees at risk for being uprooted.

“Whenever the ground gets really saturated, the tree roots have all these fibrous roots that grip onto the soil and to the material in the ground. Whenever it becomes softened by all this rain, the pores in the soil open up and kinda let go of the roots," Boyer said.

He says maintenance, like pruning, is the only thing you can do to keep your trees healthy and prevent them from being blown over from the storms. Boyer says in the short-term, there isn’t really anything that you can do.

“A healthy tree is far more likely to have a healthy root system that is able to hang on whenever the ground is flooded like this," he said.

Not only is upkeep important for a healthy tree but it can also prevent trees from taking out power lines.

Manager of media at City Utilities, Joel Alexander, says they often see tree limbs getting saturated with water. Alexander says taking care of trees and trimming them can help prevent power outages but that’s on the homeowner or landlord to do so.

“The service lines that you see going from the power lines to the homes is actually the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that is cleared off—to make sure that there’s no contact with the power lines there," Alexander said.

Boyer says All About Trees is now backlogged eight weeks, but storm calls always get pushed to the front of the list.