Moist soil and rotten roots makes it easy for trees to come crashing down

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The power of Mother Nature can cause serious damage, from trees being blown over to utility poles being knocked down.

It’s a fear many people must face anytime heavy storms blow through.

"You can be injured with just a two-inch branch falling. It just depends on the velocity and how high it is in the tree," Purdue University’s Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell said.

Sometimes you can help prevent a tree from blowing over.

"If you see a lot of mushrooms or fruiting bodies around the root system or root plate around the tree than that’s typically an indication of some rotting roots," Lindsey Purcell said.

Purdue University’s Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell says most tree failures happen in low lying areas; where the soil is extra wet and the root system is rotten.

The moist ground causes issues for power companies too. They worry about rotten wooden poles.

"We do have a program called a ground line treatment program where we go around we inspect the polls. We identify the ones that show signs of rot and get those replaced as quickly as we can," Duke Energy spokesperson Lew Middleton said.

The huge tree trunks are the main concern for them.

"A big wind will come along blow a tree limb or an entire tree into power lines and most of the time it doesn’t effect one span of wire. It will effect several spans- five, six or 10 spans of wire," Middleton said.

Trees can be dangerous and cause damage, but you can outsmart mother nature slightly by doing a little planning.

"You can do some pruning some plant healthcare. Again, if you get the right Arborist out there that can do a prescriptive programming for you, you can save a lot of trees," Purcell said.

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