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Trees falling over from too much rainfall

old CB

old CB

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
670
Location
CO
Was just reading about the Arkansas River way over flood stage in Oklahoma & Arkansas. I lived in Oklahoma for a long time, so am familiar with the issues. One thing was mentioned: someone died when a tree fell over on their house. Probably not from wind.

For many locales in this country such an event might seem incomprehensible. Here where I live now you get blowdown, where wind overcomes a tree's root system and blows it over, the root system coming up in plate fashion.

But in Oklahoma with its deep prairie soils, days and days of rain can turn any soil to a soupy consistency. Try to stand up a stalk of broccoli in a bowl of soup--it falls over. In normal soils, a tree resembles a stalk of broccoli stuck in cold peanut butter--it's not going anywhere. (I get this analogy from my daughter who didn't like broccoli as a kid--she called it "tree stumps.") But I've seen large trees, especially open-grown oaks with a wide canopy, roll slowly over when the soil holding them becomes soup.
 
anlrolfe

anlrolfe

Honor GOD, Country and Corps
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
1,878
Location
Kentucky
Yup, when the soil turns to runny oatmeal even deep roots have little to hold onto. At that point a gentle breeze or even the trees own weight can do it in. Right now so much of the midwest, big muddy Mississippi and Missouri areas are under water. Keep your powder dry boys...
 
NIP Group
Huskybill

Huskybill

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May 21, 2018
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5,954
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69
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Northeast
My property is so soggy we can’t drive on it the water table is at the grass level. I can’t get my firewood delivered because it’s so wet. We finally got a break to cut the grass.
No lost trees yet.
 
arboristlove

arboristlove

ArboristSite Lurker
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Jun 7, 2019
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23
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40
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Canada
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Was just reading about the Arkansas River way over flood stage in Oklahoma & Arkansas. I lived in Oklahoma for a long time, so am familiar with the issues. One thing was mentioned: someone died when a tree fell over on their house. Probably not from wind.

For many locales in this country such an event might seem incomprehensible. Here where I live now you get blowdown, where wind overcomes a tree's root system and blows it over, the root system coming up in plate fashion.
Even in Ontario Canada we are finding the same issues in terms of the soil remaining moist for a longer duration. I read a report that since they began tracking moisture levels it's been the highest since 1970. Not surprising that the whole continent would find itself in a similiar situation.
 
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