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Identifying potential hazardous trees before next storm

High winds and heavy rains from Tuesday night toppled and broke trees throughout Mid-Missouri, causing damage to homes, neighborhoods and power lines.

And arborists said these loose or hanging branches could pose a threat and need to be cleaned up before the next storm.

ABC 17 News talked to crews about how to identify potentially dangerous trees that could be susceptible to falling or breaking in another storm.

Joey Busker has been an arborist with Hentges Tree Services for 15 years and offered some ideas.

“Any cracking, any signs of decay at the bottom of the tree, or any insects would give signs that the tree could be weak,” Busker said.

And sometimes, the signs pop up as the tree grows.

“Any tree that doesn’t come up in one stem but in double stems typically fails,” he said. “When wind or ice hit a tree like that, one side or the other will fall off.”

He also said to check for fungus, toadstools, or hollows in the tree – which are all good indications something is going wrong inside the tree.

But some trees are just more susceptible to break or fall just by nature.

“Typically after a wind we’ll get several calls about Bradford Pears. Your Softwood trees, Maples, and Sweet Gums are softer, meaning more likely to fail,” Busker said.

Busker recommends getting any questionable trees inspected before this weekend, when the next round of storms could be heading to this area.

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