Drought may be affecting health of trees, experts say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Letting your grass turn brown could be affecting the health of your trees. Residents in a Northeast Fresno neighborhood say tree limbs are falling down on their streets at an alarming rate.

Where most people seek shaded relief from the heat -- these neighbors steer clear. "It's happened. It's fallen on cars," said Leland Larson. "I couldn't move it by myself it takes two people to move when they're laying out in the street."

Larson has lived in the neighborhood for more than 15 years. He's dealt with falling tree branches but not at the rate they're seeing now.

It's an issue Tree Doctor John Pape said could be in part because of the drought. He said spontaneous limb drops are normal. But because people aren't watering their yards trees just aren't getting enough water.

"Trees that are stressed are more likely to become damaged by disease which take their time but a lot of it is going to be accelerated by this drought," said Pape.

But the trees suffering the most in Fresno? The beloved Redwood Tree -- native to coastal California.

"Those are the trees that you see dying a lot because they just can't take it anymore. You may want to consider taking them out because you're either going to have a hard time keeping them alive anyway or it's just really not an appropriate tree here," said Pape.

But here in this neighborhood -- neighbors said they can't cut these trees because they're city property. "We've all complained about them not trimming the trees and they say they'll get to it when they can," said Larson.

These branches have been here since Friday and the neighbors say they're still waiting for city workers to come clean them up.

When I spoke with a representative from the city -- they said to use the new FRESGO app. You can download on your phone and send pictures of fallen branches and dying trees through the app straight to the city.
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