Arborist receiving abundance of calls on Irma's impact on their trees

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Local tree service companies say they have been inundated with calls from Charlotte homeowners concerned about the impact Hurricane Irma could have local trees.

Arborists say many neighborhoods have a lot of old oak trees, the kind they say could become very dangerous during the storm.

Certified arborist Tim Young remembers the devastation Hurricane Hugo caused in Charlotte in 1989.

He's concerned powerful Irma could do the same, and said people have been calling his tree service sharing their concerns.

“It was like a nuclear bomb had gone off in Charlotte,” Young said about Hurricane Hugo. “Five percent of trees were knocked down. It was huge.”

Young said he is getting about 50 calls a day from people asking him to inspect their trees.

Young said many Charlotte neighborhoods, like Myers Park, are full of these big aging willow oak trees.

“When you have a high wind, the bigger trees go down first,” Young said.

Young and other Charlotte tree service companies said their calendars are filling up fast after news of Irma

“There's only so much manpower and there's not much we can do,” Young said.

Young said that if Irma hits Charlotte with as much force as Hugo did, people should focus on developing a safety plan for their families and a survival plan once it's over.

Young is warning people with dangerous trees near their homes to stay on the bottom floor during the storm and to move cars away from those trees.