Dead Trees Become Big Problem At River Bend Nature Center

Dead Trees Become Big Problem At River Bend Nature Center

Employees of the River Bend Nature Center have been dealing with a lot of dead trees because of the drought and that's actually creating some bigger problems there.

Richard York became the grounds keeper of the center in 2011. That's the year of the worst drought on record in Texoma and York said, the wild life preserve he takes care of every day, has changed drastically since then.

"In the wild area between five to 10 percent of the trees have actually died. Some of the Red Cedars, they actually took almost three years to die," said York.

Even though the center is losing so many critical parts of its preserve York said, his main concern is this: With so many dead trees, the danger of having a wild fire on the grounds increases. On top of that, they could become a hazard, making what's usually a peaceful walk around the trail a very dangerous one.

"If they get to close to the trails where they may even fall on the trails well, obviously we have to get rid of those because you can't have that when people are walking out there. That's just not going to work," said the grounds keeper.

The center has been spending an extra several hundred dollars each month to have a lawn care company come in and cut the dead trees near the trails.

Eric Greenwood, the president of Greenwood Landscaping said, "We are trying to preserve a wild life field out there and try to keep it as natural as possible but we also have to protect the community and make sure that they're safe when they observe that area."

Greenwood said, during the drought the trees have become more vulnerable to pests that don't need moisture to survive and that's what's actually killing them. But York said some animals need those dead trees to produce so that's why he doesn't want to cut the ones that are not near the trails.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6