Athens, GA – What’s going on underground in your yard could cost you thousands of dollars above ground. The rainy season brings with it problems for trees, and they could be intruding on (or in) your home if you’re not careful.

One Athens home on W. Cloverhurst found that out the hard way, as a huge tree fell in the home’s yard, thankfully away from the house. For people like Stan Brown, who owns a tree service company, when the rains come, so does business. “Yea, this is a good time of year for the tree business that’s for sure,” he says.  Brown says business goes up around 30% in April and May. That is all thanks to the rains and storms typical for the season.

Brown says the rainy season isn’t the only thing to blame for falling trees. Georgia’s past is coming back to haunt it: a 4-5 year drought that started 10 years ago is causing problems in trees now. Brown says because the roots in trees have gone back up to the surface, “you end up with a shallow root base and with a little bit of rain and a little wind, it blows it over a lot easier.”

The good news is that if the fallen tree is due to weather, your insurance company should pay for it. An example of that is Allstate Insurance. They will do inspections and warn their customers for potential dangers. An office manager at the Allstate office in Watkinsville says “we want our customers to know that, hey, this doesn’t look right, it doesn’t look good, this is a potential for a future claim. It would be great if you could trim it back or even cut it down.”

Brown says insurance companies call him all the time asking to do service. Sometimes homeowners have to trim or cut down trees in order to get approved for a policy.

There a clues, says Brown, to know when a tree may fall. The first one: check to see if the “root ball” is raised or coming out of the ground. Second: make sure limbs are even around the tree. Third: cut branches that are hanging over your house. Small projects like that, he says, can be done on your own…or with a little help. “Most everyone seems to have a brother in law that will cut the tree if you’ve got a six pack of beer and a good ladder and saw,” Brown jokes.

Alexa Knowles, reporting.


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