Bay area rain, winds creating rotten trees - FOX 13 News

Bay area rain, winds creating rotten trees

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

They're huge, they're old, and they're crashing down.

Several rotting trees have toppled over in the last few days, damaging anything in their way. 

"It was a big wind gust that came in. I just happened to be outside. It was a rotting tree. The tree has to be 200 years old," said Daniel Mosquera.

He was lucky he wasn't hurt. A massive tree smashed down onto his home during a storm, crushing the roof last week.

On Tuesday, a giant tree fell right on top of a car cruising down Pinecrest Road in Lithia. The driver was shaken up, but thankfully not hurt.

"All of the trees aren't falling over. Just a few of them are. But it's very dramatic when they do," said Rob Northrop, an Urban Forester with the Hillsborough County Extension Service.

Northrop has been watching the trees and the rain. He said all of the rainy, stormy weather we've had lately is mostly to blame, but not entirely.

"Some of our trees are more prone to root fungus infections – another compounding factor which causes the roots to rot," he continued. "This is why I think we're seeing so many trees that fall over with just small root systems sticking out of the ground."

Dump in bucket loads of rain, gusty winds, even a little lightning, and it's no surprise the weakest trees standing won't stand for long.

"So you get these saturated soil conditions. The roots aren't holding quite the way they did before," he said. "And then we get these terrific winds that come and can potentially knock them over."

He said if you have a tree that appears to be leaning or has a soft or rotting trunk, it may have a fungus or some other kind of problem. 

His best advice is to have a certified arborist examine the tree.

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