2011-02-05 / News

Ice covered trees pose safety risks

COLUMBUS – Ice and wind are not only hazardous for walking and driving, but the recent build up of ice on trees is adding to the challenging weather conditions. These winter storm conditions can impact Ohio’s tremendous tree resources, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry.

“Ice can increase the weight of branches by 10 to 100 times, and coupled with windy conditions, can present added dangers,” cautioned Robert Boyles, Division of Forestry’s acting state forester and chief. “Homeowners and woodland owners should be very careful around their properties, not only during the current winter storm, but when later dealing with damaged trees.”

ODNR’s Division of Forestry suggests waiting until ice has melted off trees, whenever possible, before addressing tree damage. The stress of leaning trees and bent or broken branches can present unsafe conditions. Trees overhanging homes or around utility lines may cause problems as well.

“In addition to weathering storms better, well-maintained residential, city or woodland tree resources provide Ohioans with numerous environmental, social and economic benefits,” said Boyles.

Trees with pre-existing conditions, such as weak branches and shallow roots, are the most prone to ice failure. A certified arborist can provide guidelines for dealing with damaged residential trees, and insured and bonded tree care companies have experience and proper equipment for cutting and disposing of hazard trees and branches.

Woodland owners can check with a certified forester or their Division of Forestry service forester for advice on dealing with heavily impacted areas. The Ohio Forestry Association maintains a list of Ohio Master Logging companies who may be able to assist woodland owners with damaged woodlands. Visit the association’s Web site at www.ohioforest.org or call the office at (614) 497-9580.

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit the Division of Forestry’s Web site at www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

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