May 13, 2013

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The Effects of the Wind in Relationship to the Tree Damage in Austin

The Effects of the Wind in Relationship to the Tree Damage in Austin

A big part of storm damage in Austin is the damage resulting from downed trees. The wind plays the biggest role in taking down trees. Part of that damage comes from how gusts of wind that happen during a storm in the Austin area. There are a few factors that determine how much tree damage occurs.

Wind speed is a major factor in determining the amount of tree damage in Austin. Obviously, a higher sustained wind will cause more damage. But most trees can handle some sustained wind and the threat of damage comes more from falling branches than from falling trees.

Perhaps, the biggest factor of contributing to tree damage is the wind gusts. The wind gusts are like the unpredictable wild card in a storm. Trees that have deep roots and are well-established have fallen because of a dramatic increase in the wind. These gusts can be double or triple the amount of the sustained wind. In some cases, it might even be more. When those gusts approach hurricane speeds, you know there is going to be major tree damage.

Positioning also plays a role in how much damage the wind does. A tree maybe weak on side of its roots. A sudden rush of wind hitting that weak side can take it down. The more a tree leans, the more susceptible that tree is to the force of the wind. Whereas that same rush on the other side of the tree may leave it unscathed.

The position of the houses also plays a role. Closely spaced houses can cause a funneling action for the wind. This adds to the strength of the wind which creates a bigger impact on the trees next to the houses and subsequently causes more damage.

It is difficult to predict the amount of damage that will occur from trees in Austin. There are many factors that play into it. An oak that has stood for a hundred years could be knocked over in an instant because the wind hits it in the wrong place. Yet, a young tree with shallow roots can survive in its brush with the same wind. Most of that damage will depend on what the wind does in the course of the storm.

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