Arborist shares warning signs after tree falls on two homes in DeKalb County

First Alert Weather team says additional storms on Wednesday.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) - A large oak tree crashed into two homes in DeKalb County as heavy rain, thunder and lightning moved through metro Atlanta on Tuesday.

Marie Jordan told CBS46 she has always been cautious about the tree in her neighbor’s backyard on Lloyd Road. Her anxiety turned into reality when she heard a loud boom as the 77-year-old sat in the basement of her home watching weather reports.

“I park my car at the top of the driveway, saying if it come down, it won’t get my car, but it just took everything,” she said. “It scared me so bad.”

Jordan said the tree destroyed her living room and part of a bedroom on the main level of her home. It also crashed into the corner of the home where it’s rooted. Brenda Blanchard’s parents live at the house. She believes lightning struck the tree.

“All you heard was a boom,” said Blanchard, who was working from her parent’s home. “Basically, the whole house shook and threw us off and I heard my mama scream.”

No one was hurt.

The CBS46 First Alert Weather team is calling for additional storms on Wednesday. With an already saturated ground and predicted wind speeds up to 70 miles per hour, power outages and more downed trees are more likely.

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“We have that issue because we have such a lush tree canopy in town,” said Matt Peterson, an arborist with Peachtree Arborists.

Peterson said trees fall for several reasons, but the most common factors are found in the root system underground or at the base of the tree. He believes the tree that fell on Lloyd Rd may have been due to decay.

“Things you want to look for there, any sort of wounding, cavities, cracks,” he said. “If you see something seeping out of the trees, mushrooms are attached to the base of the tree. Those are all indications the tree may be likely to fail.”

In Georgia, the owner of a tree is liable for damages only if they have preexisting knowledge that a tree is diseased, decayed, or otherwise considered to be dangerous, according to UGA Extension.