Kingwood landscape changed by drought


"We do have a lot of trees," Kingwood resident Taylor Kneisley said. "More than any other neighborhood."

But the landscape is changing in this neighborhood that is affectionately called "the livable forest."

"It's just wide open, you know. A completely different place," resident Jacob Neal said of the changes.

The drought is killing Kingwood's trees. In fact, 2,800 dead trees have been tagged for removal across the city, plus 1,000 more along Kingwood Dr.

"Kingwood definitely is one of our heaviest areas because all those esplanades and right of ways are so heavily forested up there," said Joe Turner, director of parks and recreation.

Despite the city's watering, the thirsty trees couldn't survive our ongoing drought.

"It's heartbreaking, the number of dead trees you see when you drive down the road. Primarily, the loblolly pines. They really took a beating," resident J.C. Delgado said.

With continued dryness, Delgado -- who remembers the drought in the 1950s -- says the decaying trees with weakened roots have got to go.

"Because they'll rot. Then, we get a thunderstorm [and they will] blow over in road or house or something," he said.

In a forest that already lost so much to Mother Nature during Hurricane Ike, it appears there will be a gaping hole in Kingwood for years to come, making the livable forest sadly unrecognizable.

City crews urge drivers to slow down on Kingwood Dr. around workers. The tree removal is expected to last until the end of January or mid-February.

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