Clemson professor weighs in on "when to cut your tree" - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson professor weighs in on "when to cut your tree"

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CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Darin Beasley says his wife planted a pine tree that once stood in his front yard nearly 50 years ago.

When Irma came through Anderson County, the tree toppled over from the winds. It took out a transformer and blocked the road for 24 hours.

"If it was dead, I'd cut it down,” said Beasley. “But it was alive so I was going to let it live."

Many trees crashed down around the Upstate. Some because of the winds like Beasley's pine, but others may have been dead.

Dr. Steven Jeffers is a professor of plant pathology and extension specialist at Clemson University. He specializes in disease in plants, and says those dying trees are accidents waiting to happen.

"Most trees do not give you any evidence that they're weak or about ready to fall,” said Dr. Jeffers.

He says a lot of the decay happens inside the tree or the roots. Often times you don’t know anything is wrong until the tree has fallen.

"There are ways,” explained Jeffers. “They have devices that can measure the amount of pressure or resistance in the wood."

Jeffers say timely pruning and monitoring will help protect the tree. If it becomes a hazard to your home, cutting it down would be your best course of action. 

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