DALLAS — With severe weather hitting the North Texas area Wednesday, arborists and meteorologists agree that the threat of ice is a concern, especially with trees still on the mend after the bitter February of 2021.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for all of North Texas as of Wednesday night. Accumulations of freezing rain, sleet, snow are headed to North Texas.
Ice accumulations and gusty winds on utility lines could cause power disruptions and cause damage to trees.
Amy Landbein Heath, an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and owner of Texas Tree Surgeons in Garland, has a second business selling firewood. She said much of the current inventory is from felled trees that did not survive last February's freeze.
The trees that did survive, but still damaged and healing, are the ones to be concerned about the rest of this week.
"The trees that were already damaged are going to be much worse off than they were a week ago because of this storm," she said. "There was a loss of bark and cambium, the tissue that moves water and nutrients through the tree."
Heath said this exposed tissue can make things worse for trunks and branches that might already appear split and damaged.
"It's a kicking while it's down situation," she said.
ONCOR meteorologist Jen Myers said she is forecasting much the same threat: ice-laden trees and branches with the potential to bring down power lines if and when they fall.
"Even just a quarter inch of ice or a tenth of an inch of ice on a tree can add hundreds of extra pounds and makes those limbs sag and break" Myers said.
Myers said ice like this is "why we're so concerned at ONCOR."
"This is something we watch very closely because we know that it can have impact," Myers said. "And if the wind picks up, it can pick up those limbs and put them into power lines, which can cause grid issues."
Heath also said that the combination of weight and wind is when many arborists start worrying about complete failures "from the root down."
ONCOR said it has pre-positioned resources and personnel ahead of the severe weather arrival to ensure that any necessary restoration work can begin as soon as safely possible.
Oncor customers can report outages and receive updates by registering for MyOncor text alerts by texting "REG" to 66267, downloading the MyOncor App and following Oncor on Facebook and Twitter, or by calling 888-313-4747.