KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Heavy rain and high winds downed trees around the metro this weekend, but arborists say there is a way to keep trees from being so vulnerable.
The National Weather Service said the storm was unusually narrow from southwest Overland Park to Liberty. It came with a series of down bursts with winds reported up to 70 miles an hour.
Arborists said there is a simple way to keep trees stable. Mark Cantrell, with Arbor Masters in Shawnee, said pruning the branches and thinning out the canopy gives trees a lighter load and helps identify weak branches before a storm hits.
"What we're really seeing with this storm that came through is heavy foliage. Since we've had a lot of rain this year, the leaves were saturated," Cantrell said.
Arborists said trees that have one single sturdy tree trunk are always more stable than trees that have several trunks, or leaders, that branch off low and close to the ground.
Another sign of an unstable tree: Mushrooms growing around the trunk of the tree. That growth often indicates deceiving decay underground or inside the trunk that cannot be detected otherwise.