Trees damaged in December 2016 ice storm could prove hazardous this winter

Tree care professionals say don't delay: Many services are booked out for months, and trees damaged in last December's ice storm could become hazards this winter. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - For Alexander Mathas and Susan Anderson, the sound of chainsaws takes them back to a stormy night last December in the South Hills of Eugene.

"We heard a loud thump. A crash, Alexander said, "and it woke us up."

A massive tree had come crashing down, destroying their back deck.

"We just kept hearing all the trees around here crashing and crashing," Susan recalled of the December 2016 ice storm. "It sounded like guns."

Alexander and Susan said they got lucky.

The tree barely scraped their home.

Professionals used chainsaws to remove the trunk and branches.

But as the rainy season returns, they're not taking any chances.

"We want to be prepared," Alexander said. "We certainly don't want any branches to hang over the deck."

John Borg from Sperry Tree Care was out at Alexander and Susan's home, cleaning up hazards left over from last winter - and looking for new ones.

"You can actually see there's a lot of foliage over the roof here," Borg points out.

Some of the trees were weakened by last winter's ice storm.

"The regrowth is happening again," Borg said. "So those can be quite weak, and they'll snap out."

Borg urged homeowners not to wait. He said many tree services are already booked up two to three months out.

"Unfortunately we're just backlogged," he said. "So it really is important to just get someone out to evaluate your trees."

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