LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Tree removal companies were traveling around southwest Oklahoma on Monday. They were responding to calls from homeowners to get the toppled trees off their cars, homes or front lawns. Sunday's strong winds that reached 40 to 50 miles per hour brought many trees tumbling down.
In this Oklahoma weather, a tree can be damaging and deadly if it's not properly taken care of. The owner of Family Tree Service Pros said doing a little upkeep on the trees in your yard every year can prevent property damage and save you thousands of dollars.
The clean up can be tough. But on Sunday, homeowner Annette Lukasik just happened to be looking outside when the tree in her front yard tree crashed down in her front yard.
"Beyond the wind, I heard a little creaking," Lukasik said. "And sure enough that branch, I mean, it just happened so fast."
When Frank Holley, owner of Family Tree Service Pros, came up to Lukasik's home in Lawton, they found a similar tree situation to the other houses they have visited on Monday.
"There was a big branch coming back over the yard, and it split pretty much right down the middle," Holley said.
Holley said if you think the trees in your yard are strong enough to survive Oklahoma severe weather, you might want to think again.
"These ones that are rotten like this, they can't handle the wind. At all," Holley said. "And they don't look like they can't handle it because they are green and they're bloomed out. But they are hollow on the inside."
Holley said checking the health of your trees and trimming excess or dead branches is key to keep a tree or the branches from falling and causing some serious damage.
"It's okay hanging over here near a trash can, but I wouldn't have it hanging over near your car," Holley said. "I do a lot of clearing on places like this that people park under them. And it's my job to know which ones are going to withstand the storm, what trees are going to be okay and what limbs to take."
Lukasik thought about what would have happened if the walkers she saw on the street didn't move out of the way of the falling branch, or if her pets were out in the yard.
"It's terrifying, and it happens," Lukasik said. "It's unfortunate. It's scary. So, it's important. Everybody get out there, take care of these trees!"
Holley said this preventative tree maintenance is a yearly thing. It's something that you can add to your spring cleaning list before storm season starts. All to keep your family and home safe.