2 factors make trees dangerous in major storm. Here’s what to look for, Jacksonville-area expert says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As The Weather Authority continues to monitor the very active tropics amid the height of hurricane season, residents whose yards are filled with foliage — specifically trees — are reminded of the threat they could pose to homes and people.

On the Eastside, a massive tree behind a home on Thelma Street was threatening to fall on multiple homes, and on Thursday, a crew sprung into action to prevent that from happening, taking it apart piece by piece.

A limb had already fallen from the tree in Cornelia Haywood’s backyard, damaging her garage roof. The tree was dead and it was top-heavy — two factors that a tree expert told News4JAX make trees very dangerous during a bad storm.

“I was worried about the houses — not only my house, but the houses in the area,” Haywood said. “The tree was so large and it would damage several homes.”

Justin Hartman is the owner of Canary Tree Service in Fruit Cove. He says when it comes to preventing trees and debris from falling, the first thing to do is find out of the tree is dead.

“In most cases, if the tree is dead, homeowners insurance won’t cover it because of negligence, and so, if it’s dead, definitely take care of it because if it falls on your house, you could be left footing the bill,” Hartman said.

In this case, Hartman said, the tree was already showing its weak points after a large section hit the garage roof. In other words, it was top-heavy.

“It’s time to go ahead and reduce that canopy majorly or take it out so that you can prevent a loss to the neighbors or somebody getting hurt or killed,” Hartman said. “That’s a very dangerous tree and there’s a lot of them out there like that.”

Now, neither Hartman nor her neighbors need to worry should a storm head their way.

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