Tree Limbs Falling Due to Drought

Charlotte, N.C. (WJZY) -- The drought in Charlotte is getting worse. On Thursday, a new map was released showing a greater portion of our area in severe drought.

We spoke with a local arborist who explains the devastating consequences it is having on our trees.

The Queen City is known for its tree-lined streets. But a local arborist says they're dying fast. 

“There are absolutely trees dying. I can stand right here and look around and see younger trees over here. The leaves are turning brown," said Patrick George with Heartwood Tree Service. 

He says the problem started before the drought, back to when we were getting perhaps too much rain.

"If you look back to the beginning of the year, January through April we had extraordinary amount of rain. They've got all this new tender growth and then we had that week in June with 95 to 98 degrees days. The leaves weren't mature," said George.

He says it's important to water our trees at least once a week not only to keep them alive but also to avoid devastating consequences.

"The water holds these leaves out. The water in the veins of the limbs does the same thing. There's a phenomenon called summer limb drop on of your faster growing species. You'll have perfectly healthy, large live limbs fall off in the middle of the day," said George. 

If we don't water our trees and get some serious rain soon, he says we'll have more of the same come this winter. 

Charlotte Water is still calling for people to restrict their water use, but for now it is only voluntary.