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Saturated ground has some trees on last limb as Florence approaches

Posted: 11:34 PM, Sep 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-12 12:15:02Z

Experts are closely watching the trees in Maryland as Hurricane Florence heads for the east coast.

RELATED:  Getting prepared for Florence: what you need to know before it hits

They are some of Maryland's oldest residents, a lot of the trees in Maryland have seen and been through a lot.

The unusually wet year has many of them on their last limb.

 “Especially the hardwood trees like the oak, hickories. the Gum Trees they tend to uproot in weather like this,” said John Pinnock. “The softer trees like the maples and tulip poplars they are more inclined to snap off in strong or moderate wind.”

Pinnock, an arborist, has been growing his company Community Tree Experts for 40 years.            

No matter what Hurricane Florence brings to our area— the buildup to the storm puts most trees at a disadvantage.

 “You don’t have to have the high 60-70 miles per hour wind conditions to have a tree uproot. The ground is so soft, so you get 30-40 miles per hour winds and you’re in a position where even a large oak tree could come tumbling down.”

In an instant a power line can go down, a roof can be ruined, or a life can be lost.

 “It happens very fast it’s not like you hear it happening it’s just like a big crash,” Pinnock said. “Before you know it the whole tree is down, or a large limb is on a roof or a structure.”

If you have a tree close to your house that is heavy up top or saturated below there are some things you can do.

Thinning a tree out greatly reduces the risk of it toppling over.

“If you’re able to look through a tree or stand at the base of a tree and see the cloud in the sky clearly then that’s a good sign. If you cannot see clearly through the tree then you have a problem because the wind needs a path through which to pass through that tree.”

Hurricane Florence isn't expected to make its impact in Maryland until late Friday night or Saturday, but if you can't get up and clear some of the branches and leaves off of your tree just try and avoid the areas of the house where parts could fall.

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In the future, Pinnock said they will come out and assess and make recommendations free of charge.