AUSTIN (KXAN) — An estimated 10.5 million trees in Austin were damaged as a result of this month’s ice storm — impacting 30% of the city’s total tree canopy coverage, experts with the Texas A&M Forest Service said Tuesday.
The update came through data compiled by seven Texas A&M Forest Service crews as well as the agency’s Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis program. Satellite images were also used to capture the estimated extent of the damages, officials added.
In a tweet thread Tuesday, experts said the tree species most commonly impacted include live oak, Ashe juniper, cedar elm and hackberry trees. About 25% of the city’s tree canopy had sustained light damage, while 5% had moderate-to-heavy damage and 1% undergoing extensive, heavy damage.
Officials said trees that had only been lightly damaged by the storm are expected to repair themselves without issues. Older trees with “visible branch and crown damage” are advised to be pruned. Property owners should paint oak tree cuts to help prevent oak wilt, experts added.
Those whose trees have sustained significant damage are advised to connect with a certified arborist to assess the tree and outline treatment options.