Massive tree in Stow tips over due to saturated ground; incoming rain will increase likelihood of more incidents

Soaked Earth policy now includes falling trees

STOW, Ohio (WOIO) - It was a bright, sunny day in Stow when all of a sudden a massive tree split and fell, and Stow firefighters believe the tree toppled over because the root structure was compromised due to the saturated ground.

As the tree fell it snapped power lines, which started an electrical fire at the home.

A car and a pickup tree were also crushed as the tree slammed down.

Nick Rataiczak is a certified Arborist who works for Independent Tree in Newbury, and he was not at all surprised to hear that the tree came down simply due to the soaked Earth.

There are, Rataiczak says, signs that a tree in your yard is compromised.

“Check for any cracking in the soil around the base of the tree, the root flare itself, to see if it has shifted,” Rataiczak said.

If those signs are present it is best to call an arborist to determine the health and safety of the tree.

The soaked Earth is becoming a significant factor and the risk of a tree falling increases when that tree is rooted near a sidewalk, driveway or a house, any area where there was construction.

“What happens is if there is any defects, any previous root damage, any defects in the trunk, any hollows, wind and rain just amplifies it,” Rataiczak said.

Pines and spruces, any evergreen tree is at most risk, Rataiczak says, as they have very shallow root systems.

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