Trees affected by drought cut down

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Updated: 2/20/2013 10:09 am Published: 2/19/2013 6:15 pm

Oklahoma's drought is responsible for killing hundreds of trees in Green Country.

River Parks Authority workers were out removing the dead trees along the Arkansas River on Tuesday to keep the trees from falling on people walking or running in the area.

The River Parks Authority tells FOX23 they've already cut down approximately one dozen trees near the water treatment plant.

They say they are focusing on parking lots and areas with heavy foot traffic.

"I think they're being proactive. They've identified some trees that might be hazards," said Bill Preaus, owner of Preaus Landscape.

The landscaper says between the ice storm back in 2007, the low amount of rain and very hot summers it's tougher for trees in Green Country to survive.

He walked FOX23’s Dontaye Carter through a neighborhood off Skelly Drive pointing out signs of a dead tree. Preaus says trees with bark and twigs that break instead of just bend are obvious signs of a dead tree.

Preaus has been in the industry for more than 25 years and says you can also check to see if a tree is dying by using what’s called the thumbnail test. You scratch off layers of the tree to see if there are greener layers inside the bark, but Preaus adds even a safe tree can be a hazard.

"Even a safe tree, if the wind is strong enough, or if the ice accumulates is heavy enough, even a safe tree can fail," Preaus told FOX23.

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