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California Drought, Watering Restrictions Could Send Redwoods Crashing Down

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With a lack of rain from California's drought and watering restrictions in place, large trees could start falling, causing massive damage.

Trees not getting enough water are dying across the region, and it's important to know how to tell if one near you may be on the verge of coming down.

Arborist John Spurgin showed CBS13 what he's seeing every day: dead trees. It's not just in the Sierra, it's also in highly populated areas.

"You can look on the ground and see there is no irrigation here at all," he said. "Anything that is not getting irrigated, is dying."

Redwoods, he says are especially susceptible. One we found in West Sacramento was brown, crispy and read to come down.

Spurgin recommends three ways to keep trees alive.

  • Watering around the canopy area, not the trunk.
  • Using mulch to keep water from evaporating
  • Irrigating in the morning.

Limbs falling from dying trees can pose a safety hazard when they randomly come crashing to the ground. Spurgin says while long-dead trees may be more obvious, dying or newly dead trees may not be. Checking for dead branches at the high points, or calling an arborist can help figure it out.

And if you see a tree owned by someone else, like a city, let them know about it. In most cases, you can call 311.

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