Cracked trees and fallen branches have plagued most of the state since an ice storm hit late Friday night, but tree experts say the damage may just be beginning.
Oklahoma City Manager James Couch said crews have been out since Saturday cleaning up fallen tree debris caused by the ice, but as of Monday afternoon, they still hadn't determined the scope of damage to the city's trees.
“Some parts of town are heavier than others,” Couch said. “This is nothing compared to the ice storm in '07.”
Couch said most residents can utilize curbside trash pickup to get rid of their fallen limbs and branches. The city issued a news release Monday instructing residents to place branches within 10 feet of the curb for pickup on their normal bulky waste collection day.
Damage from the 2007 ice storm, which cost an estimated $25 million statewide, is still being felt in the surviving trees today, said Caleb Banister, president of the Oklahoma Arbor Association.
“When we get in trees today we can see where the damage took its toll from that 2007 storm,” Banister said. “A lot of people just didn't take the correct actions in the follow-up and that damaged their trees permanently.”
Banister recommends residents contact a certified arborist for trees with extensive damage, like a split down the main trunk or multiple broken branches.