Dead trees removed by 100s in The Woodlands


In The Woodlands, the abundance of trees is what draws so many to the community. Now dead trees are being cut down by the thousands.

Woodlands residents Annalea Dinkins and her mom Jessica love the park.

"It's nice to come out here and sit at the park and look at the park and sit under the shade," Jessica Dinkins said.

They especially love that one thing The Woodlands is known for -- its trees.

Dinkins said, "I don't think it would be The Woodlands without the trees."

That's what makes this situation all the more difficult to bear.

"The trees are decaying quicker than we can remove them," said Berkley Outside Services Arborist Susan Landers. "It's like a slow moving hurricane that's coming through here. It's actually a huge disaster."

Last year's drought has devastated the immense canopy that covers The Woodlands' 28,000 acres and its 124 parks. The Woodlands has hired seven companies to pull down as many as 100 trees a day, up to 2,000 a month.

The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Director Dr. Chris Nunes said, "We envision that workload is going to be consistent for probably the next several months if not longer."

Dr. Nunes says the drought has weakened trees such that now they're susceptible to either beetles or fungus, both of which kill. As much as the removal effort is all consuming, there is also a concerted effort to figure out the best way to replace what's gone.

"Traditionally we have replaced every tree we removed with two additional trees," Dr. Nunes explained. "Is that the best approach right now?"

That way, there'll still be plenty of shade for Annalea's trips to the park with her mom.

"It's very sad because they're just beautiful," Dinkins said.

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