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Phoenix-area homeowners preparing before monsoon storms to avoid wind and rain damage

Phoenix-area homeowners should trim their trees and bushes before the monsoon storms hit to avoid rain and wind damage, experts say.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:53 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona homeowners have seen the kind of damage that can be done by the monsoon. Heavy wind and rain can rip trees from the ground, smashing them into homes, cars and apartment buildings. The last thing Jim Kahn wants is for one of his trees to come crashing down into his Phoenix home this summer, so he’s taking some precautions now. Kahn just hired a crew to trim his big pine trees so they are less likely to get blown over during the monsoon. “Even if the tree falls into the street or on the ground, it could be $8,000 to $10,000 to have it cut up and hauled away,” said Kahn. “Then if it falls into the house, we have damage and destruction to the house and possible injury to people. You don’t want any of the above.”

Rob Dillingham is the general manager with Jason’s Tree Service. He said far too many homeowners fail to maintain their trees, letting them grow out while getting heavy along the branches. When that happens, the wind can’t blow through them, creating an umbrella effect that can topple a tree over. “When that wind comes in and it rains, the rain softens the ground,” said Dillingham. “Then if you get sustained wind for a period of time, it will push and push, and as the ground softens, the root ball will start to shift. That’s when the real problems start with trees on houses, breakages, and all that stuff will occur.”

Dillingham suggests maintaining your trees yearly, so there’s not as much to trim when the summer storms roll in. He said to consider it an investment because the cost of repairing monsoon damage can be a lot more than preventative maintenance. “There’s (sic) some trees in the Valley that can totally devastate an entire home,” said Dillingham. “If they were to uproot and land on them, there’s no possibility a home is going to survive.”

According to Dillingham, the cost to trim trees can vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on how many trees you have and how big they are. Homeowners are advised to get a few estimates before hiring a tree trimming company and get some recommendations. It’s also a good idea to check their status with the Better Business Bureau.