Tracking Sandy: Tree Damage High Risk

By Matt Porter

October 29, 2012 Updated Oct 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM EDT

Oxford, NY (WBNG Binghamton) HurricaneSandy is expected to produce sustained winds between 30 and 40 miles per hour right here in the Southern Tier, and up to 60 miles per hour in higher elevations.

Due to those high winds, there is a major concern about trees falling across the Southern Tier.

Experts say that not only the speed, but direction of Sandy's winds are a problem.

According to experts, trees in the Southern Tier grow to withstand strong westerly winds throughout the year, but Sandy is expected to produce very strong easterly winds.

"Their roots, their stems, their trunks, aren't braced for that," said Ken Smith, director of Cornell's Cooperative Extension in Chenango County. "So they tend to catch and topple over, that's when they hit houses, that's when they hit power lines."

Smith said trees that are most vulnerable include soft wood trees like pine and evergreens.

Also, trees that are isolated, meaning they have no other trees around them are very vulnerable. Those include trees scattered along roads and highways.