SHERMAN, TX -- The drought we had last summer killed thousands of trees. The Texas Forest Service says there are more dead trees than ever, and they can be a liability if they're not taken care of.
"Us as a company have taken down three times the trees that we have in the last five years in this last year, because they have died because of the drought," said Shawn Riley, owner of Clearview Trees.
Dead trees around Texoma have been keeping Shawn Riley busy. They pose a threat to homes, cars and people. They cost a lot of money and time spent with insurance companies.
If a tree does do damage, insurance companies take into consideration whether or not a natural disaster caused it. And if the tree was healthy and maintained.
But if it's unhealthy, they'll have some questions.
"Where it comes into question is if it's diseased or dead and there's negligence involved in that because you didn't take care of it as a homeowner and maintain and get that tree trimmed. Then there could be coverage questions," said Robin Pierson, insurance agent.
Pierson says these issues aren't taken lightly.
"The insurance companies do inspect and they're pretty serious if you have limbs hanging over your roof," said Pierson.
There are signs of a sick or dead tree.
"The first symptom, it's obvious is decay. Decay can result from many different things which is insects and disease," said Riley.
Clearview Trees owner, Shawn Riley says these signs don't mean your tree is dead. But you should get it checked out by a professional, and they'll tell you the steps you need to take before chopping them down.
Riley says when choosing a tree service do your research. Make sure the company is insured, certified and has references.