Rains uproot huge oaks in Devine

This beautiful Live Oak Tree in downtown Devine was uprooted by the downpour of rains we’ve seen in the past couple weeks. Another great big Oak fell in the Devine Housing Authority property nearly hitting a home. However, these are just a couple of the majestic Oaks that were uprooted by the saturated soil.
Professional Arborist Daniel Bowyer and his crew were tasked with the job of cleaning up the aftermath of this Oak pictured. What causes this to happen? Well, it’s a combination of the trees soaking up too water and the soil beneath it becoming too soft and saturated.
“I have seen four large oaks either fall apart or uproot since the rains have started here in Devine…. I believe that all of those trees are over 100 years old,” Bowyer said. “ Most all of the trees are already stressed due to how dry it is normally and then can’t handle the weight of all the extra water they absorb…..The rains made the ground so soft that the tree roots had very little support and when the extra water weight is added on top of that, the tree falls.” Bowyer also points out that many of these fallen trees also had other pre-existing issues causing additional stress, and this can sometimes be prevented using braces.
He explains that even an old Oak tree’s roots do not go as deep as people may think.
“They are usually found in the top two feet of soil. No matter how big a tree gets, the tree roots spread out more often than going deeper.”
When it comes to estimating a tree’s age, Bowyer suggests counting rings.
“Counting at trees rings is the most effective way to estimate a trees age, but that can only be done after cutting a tree down. They have other ways to measure, but most of it is not completely accurate. No one really knows a tree’s actual age but they always try put ages on trees. All trees grow at different rates depending on its location and environmental conditions, so it is very hard to tell how old some of these trees are,” Bowyer said.
“The rings on this tree are really hard to count because some of them are so close together, but I distinctly counted 80 rings, but some of them were really close together and I am confident that the tree is closer to between 100- 160 years old.”
Others have commented they believe the old Live Oak was even older than that. One thing’s for sure, that old tree has been here nearly as long or maybe even longer than The City of Devine that has grown up around it, and it sure is sad to see these old Oaks go.