Looking out for signs of a weak tree can prevent future storm da - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Looking out for signs of a weak tree can prevent future storm damage

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"The storm that rolled through last night was a pretty heavy storm, so trees that shouldn't have fallen fell all over the place," said Sam Manzer of Big Woody's Tree Service.

The work is nonstop for Manzer and his crew on Tuesday. They were busy cleaning up trees, mostly in the East Ridge area, damaged by Monday night's storms.

Strong wind blew one onto the roof of a home on Missionary Ridge.

"It just looks like the limbs were long enough and it had a wide enough canopy to catch enough wind just to snap," said Manzer.

He explained that it's possible the fallen tree could've been prevented if some of the heavier branches were cut down beforehand.

There are warning signs homeowners can look for before the next storm hits. Signs of a weak tree include weak or discolored bark, exposed roots, or cracked soil near the base of the trunk, limbs that are drooping or dying (especially ones near the roof of a house).

But some freak accidents can't always be prevented ahead of time, like lightning that hit a tree in front of Christina Hardin's East Ridge apartment.

"It just snapped in half. It's been there a long time," Hardin said.

Many tree service companies offer a free estimate. The cost of preventative maintenance is often cheaper than a several thousand dollar cleanup, plus any additional damage a storm could cause.

"There's not always big signs that a tree's gonna fall," Manzer said, "but if it's near your house, it's just a good idea to have somebody come and look at it."

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