Two powerful storms in just 10 days uprooted a lot of trees across the area and there's still the potential for more trees to fall.
“The thing that makes a tree dangerous is a target, like a house, a car, foot traffic anything like that,” Brian Heywood, an arborist with Spokane ProCare, said. “That's when it becomes a hazard."
Unfortunately, many Inland Northwest residents had to find that out the hard way. Heywood said in some cases the damage couldn't have been prevented. He said many of the trees he saw were mature and in good shape but were no competition to the strong winds the two storms brought.
"I've seen the strangest damage that I've ever seen in tree work,” Heywood said. “Trees failing at no specific point, trees that did not look susceptible to fail were twisted in half."
Now that the storm is over, it's a good time to check if the trees on your property require work. There are a few signs to look out for if a tree needs to be removed. Heywood said if the tree is leaning it's not a good sign. He adds it's likely damaged and should be seen by an arborist. Cavities, a swollen trunk or fungus indicate that the tree may be rotting or hollow on the inside making it more susceptible to fall in high winds. If a tree has a split top, it's going to be easier for it to be pushed over.
“There's usually included bark and that makes it a real weak junction," Heywood said.
Taking down trees is not cheap. Prices very depending on the situation.
"An 80-foot tree next to a house could easily run you $1,000 or more, just depending on how much of it needs to be rigged down," Heywood said.
He suggests calling a certified arborist if you have tall trees close to your house you're worried about.
"Most reputable companies are happy to come out and give you a free estimate,” Heywood said. “Right now they're pretty busy, so it might take them a few weeks for them to come around and give you an estimate on something.”
Regardless of the price, it could save a life and that doesn't have a price tag.