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Storm aftermath: How to know if your trees are at risk


High winds knocked down several trees in Bend on Tuesday, falling on power lines, houses, streets and parking lots. On Wednesday, crews were busy cutting up and clearing out the downed trees.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to a couple of arborists to find out how to tell whether your trees could be dangerous.

In general:

1. If it’s co-dominant or has a split top, the tree could split into two separate stems.
2. The tree has a lean. Not all leans are bad, but if the tree has a lean it didn’t used to have, watch out.
3. There’s a deformed trunk on a pine tree. If the trunk has a bulge, the tree could have Western Gall Rust.
4. The base of the tree is rotten or decayed. This could be caused by standing water or insects.
5. The tree or its limbs and needles are dead.

But there’s another man-made reason trees could fall, and that’s urban development.

Certified arborist Brett Huet explained how it can play a role.

“With new sidewalks and new roads going in, these are all going to be things that impact our urban forest,” Huet said. “So any time we are creating a disturbance into the natural ecosystem these trees normally thrive in, it’s going to affect the tree adversely.”

Dan Oliver with Oliver Arbor Care said fortunately, our tall trees have grown to withstand these windstorms, for the most part.

“Because trees have grown up accustomed to that wind,” Oliver said. “Unless you change the landscape dramatically, like cutting down trees around a particular tree, generally they’ve grown reaction wood and root material to actually support themselves in those kind of winds.”

Among the trees that fell Tuesday, one was exposed after the trees around it were cut, another was surrounded by a concrete parking lot that can compact roots, and a third apparently was in an area with a leaking pipe.

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