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City Of Austin Arborists Will Be Removing Trees Killed During February's Winter Storm

Palm trees, damaged during February's winter storm, at an apartment complex in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez
The city estimates that as many as 90% of the area’s palm trees did not survive February's storm.

Arborists with the Austin Public Works Forestry Team are out looking for dead trees in public rights of way and later this month will begin removing those considered dangerous.

One type of tree that probably fared the worst from February's record-long freeze: palms. The Forestry Program estimates that as many as 90% of the area’s palm trees did not survive.

“The longer palms are left standing, the more difficult they become to remove," Lisa Killander, the program's manager, said. "Rotting palms are heavy and can snap and fall without warning, creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians, drivers, and property.”

The city said residents can call 311 to report damaged or dead trees. Property owners with dead trees can also help out by contacting a certified arborist to assess their situation. Getting rid of dead vegetation also means there’s less fuel for wildfires.

"While vegetation that residents have planted in the right of way is their responsibility, Forestry will assess the safety risk of palms and other trees in the right of way," Austin Public Works said in a news release. "If dead plants pose a risk, public safety will be prioritized over property owner responsibility."

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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