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Tuesday’s storm brings threat of more tree damage

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 09, 2019

SALT LAKE COUNTY — The latest spring storm is expected to drop snow in the mountains, benches and even the valley floor.

It also brings the danger of falling tree limbs while cleanup continues after the last winter storm on March 30.

“We will be working on that problem for a year,” Salt Lake City Urban Forestry Division Director Tony Gliot said.

Mother Nature’s spring mood swings aren’t unusual but can be dangerous.

“This is one of those seasons where I feel like you should be ready for anything,” FOX13 News Chief Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke said.

Spring storms can give a one-two punch for Utah trees. First, the rain soaks deep into the branches before the snow gathers on top.

“You have this high water content that makes the snow super heavy. You get them on these trees that are starting to sprout and it causes all kinds of problems,” Van Dyke said.

It comes during a time when tree limbs are already heavy at the ends, soaking up more water from the roots to create buds and leaves.

“When we get a rain like this, there is so much surface area on a tree and every bit of that can hold and retain some amount of water and that’s when we get the breakage that we saw,” Gliot said.

To prevent property damage, Gliot urges drivers to look up when parking a vehicle outside. If a tree limb looks suspicious, reconsider the parking spot.

When the storm clears, it’s important to prune trees every seven to ten years so they can stay healthy during future storms.